NEWARK, N.J. - Once you learn the identity of Lou Williams' shooting partner over the summer, it's no surprise that his outside shot has looked so smooth.
Williams spent the summer with teammate Jodie Meeks, and the pair often shot for hours each day in Atlanta - their hometown.
Before Tuesday night's game against the New Jersey Nets, Williams and Meeks were seated a few lockers apart.
Williams was asked how much time he dedicated to his outside shot this past summer. "A lot," he said, then turned to Meeks.
"How much did we do?" Williams asked his teammate. "We shot a lot. Every day, 21/2 hours, getting it in."
Entering the game, Williams was shooting 37.7 percent from beyond the arc, an improvement over his career average of 32.9 percent. In recent weeks, Williams also has stopped using the pump fake, which earned him many early-season free throws but also seemed to throw off the timing of his shots.
Sixers coach Doug Collins called Williams' penchant for pump-faking a "very bad habit" and said he thought the habit started in earnest during an early-season game in New York against the Knicks.
In that game, Williams was 12 for 14 from the free-throw line.
"Teams are staying down now, so it's time to be aggressive again and not try to play trick basketball and shoot a bunch of free throws," Williams explained. "It was time to get aggressive and start attacking."
Williams had scored 19 points, 16 points, and 17 points in the team's three previous games. In that period, he was 7 for 14 from beyond the arc.
Asked whether this season's performance is the best he has felt about his perimeter game, Williams said: "You could say that. I put a large amount of time on it, more than I ever had before."
Trade in the works
Just before Tuesday's game, news broke of a potential three-team trade involving the Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Houston Rockets.
The trade, which was in the advanced stages according to Yahoo Sports, had the Nets sending guard Terrence Williams to the Rockets and veteran forward Joe Smith to the Lakers, with the Lakers sending guard Sasha Vujacic and a 2011 first-round pick to the Nets and the Rockets sending a 2012 first-round pick to New Jersey.
On Cliff Lee
Asked about the Phillies' blockbuster deal with lefthander Cliff Lee, Collins smiled and said, "The rich get richer."
- Kate Fagan