Since January 1st -- and more recently, since a detoxifying juice cleanse and platelet-rich plasma therapy treatment on his ankles -- Deron Williams has looked more like the max-contract point guard the Brooklyn Nets signed this summer. From the beginning of the season up through December 31st, Williams averaged 16.3 points and 7.5 assists per game on 39.9% shooting, 30% from beyond the arc. In 2013, Williams has bumped those numbers to 19.6 points & 7.8 assists per game on 45% shooting, and 44.6% from deep. He's been even better since his All-Star cleanse: 23.3 points, 7.9 assists, 46.7% shooting, 47.1% from 3.
What does Williams attribute his newfound success to? His recovered ankles, which he says "felt like s--t" before the All-Star break:
"Listen man, from walking here (on the bench) to the locker room felt like s---," Williams said following Saturday's practice. "What do you not understand? Like, I could not walk. I could not walk up my stairs without (my ankles) killing me. It would take me 10 minutes to get up my stairs sometimes -- especially in the morning."
Williams said "the last straw" for him was the team's 111-86 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 10 in which he was completely outplayed by Tony Parker.
"I felt like I was just hurting the team even being out there playing the way I was, because I couldn't move," Williams said. "I couldn't stay in front of anybody. I couldn't beat anybody off the dribble. I couldn't jump. If I did find some energy ... to do one move, by the time I did the one move it hurt so bad that I couldn't even jump to shoot a layup. It was just painful."