The Russian, The Big Ticket & The ‘Franchise’ — The Keys to the Nets-Heat Series from Here

LeBron James, Paul Pierce

1) Which Deron Williams will we see?


Since the Nets acquired Deron Williams back in 2011, every subsequent move from then forward has been about satisfying him and providing him with the right complements to his diverse game. Why? Because the Nets believed in him. They believed he was their franchise player, and in turn, put all of their eggs in his basket.

After all of that belief in the form of a max contract and relative “control” over personnel decisions, Williams came up tiny in the most pivotal game in Brooklyn Nets history.

How Williams responds to his 0-for-9, 0-point Game 2 performance is not only vital to the Nets immediate success in this series, but, in my opinion, crucial to the long-term psyche of Williams’ career. I do believe Williams’ ankles aren’t right, but if he’s really the player the Nets believe they traded for, it’s time for him to rise up and play his best when his best is absolutely needed.

We’ll see. -Justin DeFeo