Posted on: October 6th, 2014 by Eddie L. Bolden, Jr. Comments

 

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AP

AP


Deron Williams on Twitter
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 205 lbs.
Date of Birth: June 26, 1984
Years Pro: 9
Before NBA: University of Illinois
Drafted: 3rd overall, 2005 NBA Draft
Nickname: D-Will

- Full Stats -

The Brooklyn Nets will once again hand the keys to their unquestioned floor general and leader, Deron Williams, as he enters his 10th year as a pro and his third full season with the franchise. But after confidence and durability issues, is Williams still capable of leading the Nets?

That’s the 98 million dollar question.

Williams has been the franchise face since the Nets acquired him from the Utah Jazz on February 11, 2011. At the time of the trade, Williams was an elite player, one of the best point guards in the league. Standing at 6’3” and over 200 pounds, Deron Williams possesses an array of skills in his arsenal that allow him to use his size and agility to beat defenders with a quick cross-over and then square up for a jump-shot. Early in his career as a member of the Jazz, Williams was able to attack the rim at will using his large frame against smaller defenders.

But there's no denying the significant role injuries have played in his diminishing numbers. Williams has spent time on the injured list multiple times in the past three seasons due to an assortment of injuries ranging from his calf, knee, ribs, wrist, and his now-infamous ankles.

Williams has received countless cortisone shots, and underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy treatment designed to ease the discomfort in his ankles. In the offseason, Williams had surgery on both of his troublesome ankles, which Nets officials hope will bolster his production and confidence.

Williams’ long, winding road to redemption will ultimately depend on his ability to recover both physically and mentally. Williams must put behind him the disappointment of last season’s failed experiment, the win-now mentality, the tragic divorce from Jason Kidd, and his aching ankles. With Shaun Livingston and Paul Pierce gone, and a new coaching staff led by Lionel Hollins set to take over head coaching responsibilities, Williams must be a major contributor on both sides of the ball.

Williams has attacked the basket less during his time with the Nets, instead he has relied heavily on shots from beyond the three point line. In 64 games played last season, Williams averaged 14.3 points per game with an effective field goal rating of 50.4 percent on three point attempts. Last season, 468 mid-range and three point attempts made up the bulk of Williams’ offense output.

When Williams isn’t looking for his shot, he relies on his court vision and passing abilities to weave the ball past defenders and through to his teammates. Williams averaged 6.1 assists per game last season with an assist rate of 32.8 percent; both were his lowest totals since his rookie season.

Is it too early to write off his return? Is Williams, now 30 years old, relegated to second-tier status in the NBA's point guards? Or will this ankle surgery finally take?

The battle may be tough, but the Nets will ultimately go as far as Deron Williams can lead them.

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Deron Williams, Jordan Farmar

Deron Williams/AP

According to a report from the International Business Times, the Los Angeles Lakers have put Nets point guard Deron Williams on their radar:
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AP

AP

Deron Williams: 64 G, 58 GS, 32.2 MPG, 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.45 SPG, 0.20 BPG, .450 FG% .366 3P%, .801 FT%, 17.69 PER, 6.9 EWA
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AP

AP

With all the attention on LeBron James' dominant 49-point performance in Game 4 that led the Miami Heat to a 102-96 victory, it's easy to lose sight of everything else. But one thing caught our eye: Joe Johnson and Deron Williams's offensive output not only didn't rise to some playoff-worthy output, it didn't even rise to their own averages during the year.

Williams finished the night just 5-14 from the field and 1-3 from three-point range, hitting both of his free throws for 13 points. Johnson finished the night 5-15 from the field and 2-7 from three-point range, hitting all six of his free throws for 18 points.

Let's keep it simple: given their shot selection, if Williams and Johnson had merely played at their average level in terms of field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and free throw percentage, Williams and Johnson together would have scored between 7-8 more points total. The Nets lost by six.

Shots are difficult to come across in the playoffs, especially against arguably the league's best team. Johnson also said that James's flop on Johnson's last shot of the game threw his balance off. In any one game, anything can happen. But if "Brooklyn's Backcourt" underperforms again with the season on the line, the year could end tonight.

 

AP

AP

The Brooklyn Nets are down 2-0 in their best-of-seven second-round series against the Miami Heat. With possibly just two games remaining in Brooklyn's season, here's the big things we'll be watching.

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FOUND: D-Will Defenders

Posted on: May 10th, 2014 by Rick Barry1971 Comments

 

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Joseph5 9 via Instagram

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Nets Raptors Basketball

The Nets and Raptors start their playoff series Saturday in Toronto. (AP)

 

What had happened was: The Nets cast aside their usual uniforms and instead collectively donned a massive white flag in the final game of the regular season, which they lost 114-85 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game mercifully brought to an end a streak of uninspired, boring basketball the Nets largely played over the final two weeks.

The Nets made rest their first priority, as Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston, Kevin Garnett, Alan Anderson, and Mirza Teletovic sat this one out. Instead, the Nets fielded a vaunted five of Jorge Gutierrez, Marquis Teague, Marcus Thornton, Andray Blatche, and Jason Collins. Andrei Kirilenko and Mason Plumlee made appearances of the bench, which was weird, because I wasn’t used to seeing NBA players on the court when they got in the game.

That was: A chore. No one wanted to watch the Nets’ collection of also-rans come out and skirmish with a non-playoff game when the team clearly didn’t give a damn, and this was in many senses not even an NBA game.

Where they stand: After a few days of jockeying, the dust has settled. The Nets will take the No. 6 seed and play the Toronto Raptors, who beat the New York Knicks Wednesday to cement their spot in the No. 3 seed, in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 will take place at the Air Canada Centre Saturday on ESPN. Time TBD. With the loss, the Nets locked a spot in Miami’s half of the Eastern Conference bracket, which means Brooklyn will play No. 2 Miami in the second round if the Nets advance and Miami takes care of business against No. 7 Charlotte.

This came amid much dismay that the Nets would have to play the Chicago Bulls in the first round once again. The No. 4 Bulls will instead play the No. 5 Washington Wizards.

The stats: Well, they weren’t great. Marcus Thornton led the Nets with 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting — and shoot he did. The cuffs were off for Thornton, who is not shy about shooting in the first place. This was an exhibition in gunning.

Andray Blatche posted 20 points (8-of-18 shooting) and 12 rebounds and featured his usual collection of moves and hilarity. Andrei Kirilenko MADE A PAIR OF FREE THROWS and I don’t care about anything else he did.

Jason Collins was set free to fire, logging eight points on eight shots. The lumbering big man played 39 minutes, and you have to figure he’ll never play that many in an NBA game again.

Shot Chart Rorschach Test: A Christmas-themed square donut.
donut

Is Marquis Teague in the D-League yet? That’s a nope.

Game Grades: Read 'em here.

Was this wise? Maybe. Williams needed the rest. If Johnson needed it, he never would have told you so. Pierce has his shoulder thingy, and Garnett sweats a new ocean after each two-minute stint. There were reasons not to care, but there were also reasons to try and avoid Miami in the second round and stay in rhythm.

Also, I take a little more seriously Jason Kidd’s assertion that Garnett’s minutes load won’t increase in the playoffs given that he had absolutely no chance to increase it incrementally during the regular season. The Nets can probably only count on him for 22 minutes a game in the postseason.

WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?

Shaun Livingston, not doin’ things: He didn’t play. That toe is really actin’ up.

Can you give me a comparison for the number of fast-break dunks the Nets gave up in the second half? Sure thing!

Across the river: The Knicks lost to the Toronto Raptors, putting to bed their miserable season and giving them 37 wins, matching the SCHOENE projection that Knicks fans were quick to call absurd before the season began.

Take that, Masai Ujiri.

Next up: The Nets start what they’ve been building toward since Jan. 1. Saturday they get to show that they really were built for the playoffs.