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Updated: December 10th, 2013 11:11am
Numbers Game: Derrick Williams and Rashad McCants, joined in history

Numbers Game: Derrick Williams and Rashad McCants, joined in history

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by Phil Mackey

This week's Numbers Game column examines a breakout game by a former high Timberwolves draft pick, Toby Gerhart's career numbers to this point, and Bronson Arroyo's last five years.

31: The number of points Derrick Williams scored in the Sacramento King's win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night - DW's fifth game in his new city.

The Kings traded power forward Patrick Patterson to the Toronto Raptors as part of a seven-player deal that brought small forward Rudy Gay to Sacramento. The trade created even more room for Williams to play power forward, and he responded with a breakout game - 31 points, five rebounds and five steals, including 3-of-5 from three-point range.

And this awesome alley-oop:

This certainly isn't the first time a struggling-yet-promising Minnesota prospect went off in his new digs. Delmon Young hit five postseason home runs for the Tigers in 2011 just weeks after the Twins traded him for a bucket of batting practice balls. Francisco Liriano thrived in Pittsburgh last season. I'm sure there are many other examples (feel free to comment below).

Then again, Rashad McCants was traded to Sacramento halfway through the 2008-2009 season, and he, like Williams, went off in his fifth game with the Kings as well - 20 points on 6-of-6 shooting (3-of-3 from downtown) and four rebounds in 30 minutes. Two weeks later, McCants dropped 30 on the Charlotte Bobcats, including five three-pointers.

We all know how that turned out.

45%: Wes Johnson's shooting percentage from three-point range so far this season. 

Johnson, another former Timberwolf, is thriving as a shooter in Mike D'Antoni's system in Los Angeles. But shooting is about all Johnson provides, as he averages just 12 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per 36 minutes. Once the fourth overall pick, Johnson is now a shooting specialist -- something, coincidentally, the Wolves could use right now. 

1,305: The number of career rushing yards Toby Gerhart has racked up in his four-year career.
And it only took him 276 carries (4.7 yards per) to get there, which is slightly fewer carries than most starting running backs would get in a full season. Gerhart also has 77 catches for 600 yards over that period (7.8 per catch). At age 26, Gerhart, a free agent after this season, will almost certainly land a starting job somewhere.

And considering how almost every elite running back in NFL history has hit a wall around age 29 or 30, it might make sense for the Vikings to entertain keeping Gerhart. After all, Adrian Peterson turns 29 in a couple months.

5: Shutouts thrown by former Cincinnati Reds starter Bronson Arroyo since 2009. Twins starters have combined for just nine shutouts over that same stretch.

The Twins are still making a push to land Arroyo at this week's MLB winter meetings in Orlando. Over the past five seasons, Arroyo owns a 4.05 ERA while averaging 208 innings per season and 5.3 strikeouts per nine innings. According to KSTP and 1500 ESPN reporter Darren Wolfson, the Twins could land Arroyo with a three-year guaranteed contract. Arroyo, however, turns 37 in February, so a three-year deal might not make sense. 

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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