Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 1/5/12
PLAYA VISTA, Calif. Winning is supposed to cure everything, but in the case of Mo Williams, it's going to take some time. On a Los Angeles Clippers team filled with star power, Williams is suddenly a backup. It's not a role he figured to play this season, but it's one he was forced to assume when the team acquired point guard Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets last month. Williams, a starter virtually his entire NBA career, has given the Clippers a visible energy off the bench. In Wednesday night's 117-89 victory over the Houston Rockets, he had seven points and seven assists in 22 minutes. But the transition is coming slowly, which is understandable when you think about it. "A month and a half ago, this was his team," teammate Chauncey Billups said. "It's going to be an adjustment period, but I don't worry about him. He's a mature veteran. He's been around the league. He'll be fine." Williams, 28, sounded evasive when he was asked if was content with his current role as a backup. "The team is first," he said. "At the end of the day, the team is first. That's all that really matters. I hope I answered your question." Even if he's not happy, Williams is clearly a presence on the floor. In the Clippers' first five games, he's averaging 10.6 points and 4.6 assists in 27 minutes. When he and guard Randy Foye are on the floor in relief of starters Paul and Billups, they're essentially two starters backing up two starters. "There's no question that Mo and Randy have a ton of experience, and that helps," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Their energy, not only offensively but more importantly defensively is vital for us because they bring good energy. Mo gets into the ball really well and gets our tempo going. That's definitely something we want to use to our advantage." Del Negro knows Williams isn't satisfied over losing his starting role. Williams took over the job last season when he was acquired from the Cleveland Cavs in the Baron Davis trade. In 537 career games entering this season, he had been a starter in 431 of them. "Like everyone, Mo wants to play more, but the situation has changed for him since last season," Del Negro said. "Like I've said, Mo's a pro and Mo understands he's a big part of what we're trying to do here. He's been a leader, a pro. He's worked, he's gotten in games and given us great effort. "Roles will change throughout the year depending on schedule and health and everything else. Everyone goes through their highs and lows through the season, but you have to stay consistent in what you need to do and know your role. More important than knowing it, you have to accept your role. It is team first." Billups, a 14-year veteran, said he talks frequently to Williams about adjusting and accepting. Slowly, he's coming around. "I've been knowing Mo a long time," Billups said. "He's never going to be 100 percent happy with that role because he feels like he's a starter, and he is. He's just in a tough situation right now. He's going to stay focused and stay locked in, but Mo's a starting point guard, no question about it. It's just a tough spot for him to be in right now." If nothing else, Williams is producing, perhaps because he has a starter's mentality, regardless of when he comes into the game and how many minutes he gets. "I'm a basketball player," he said. "If you know how to play basketball, it's the same. I'm going to be the player that you see on the court each and every day trying to help this team win." And maybe, at least for the moment, that's the most important thing.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

Warriors GM indicates Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to return

Taylor Hall says it was “nice to finally see” the Edmonton Oilers eliminated

Report: Jets to hire female defensive backs coach

Vince Young officially inks contract with CFL team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Witten: Bill Parcells is getting soft in his old age

Braves make up with fan ejected by security for interference

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Congress drafted a bill that could legalize online sports betting; how soon might it happen?

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker