If the Brooklyn Nets had their way, three-time All-Star Deron Williams would be a four-time All-Star come the middle of February. But to hear Williams tell it, he doesn't feel the same way:
"I just think there's people playing better than me," he said Tuesday.
Williams, 28, is averaging 16.8 points, 7.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds a game. He's shooting just 40.9 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from 3-point range.
Williams been plagued by minor injuries and fatigue, while also struggling with his confidence. "I haven't taken a break since before I went to Istanbul [in 2011, during the lockout]," he reiterated.
He also wasn't a fan of Avery Johnson's offensive system. Williams has been a different player since P.J. Carlesimo took over.
Williams has played like
a new point guard his old self since Carlesimo's tenure began, but I'd agree with his personal assessment: there have been enough good point guards in the East this season to warrant Williams spending his weekend with a nice rest instead. Even considering Williams' recent surge, Rajon Rondo is already in the game as a starter; assuming the coaches select two point guards to back him up, Kyrie Irving should be a lock as his backup, and some combination of the emerging Jrue Holiday/Kemba Walker/Brandon Jennings class could easily snag the third spot.
That said, the coaches do like to vote for proven talents, which Williams is -- moreso than any of his Eastern Conference competition. Should Williams continue his recent surge into the All-Star Break, there's a good chance he'll break away from the pack and deserve the third spot.