Brooklyn Nets: Midseason Grades

Kris Humphries, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace
Seems like a lifetime ago. (AP)

Deron Williams

Deron Williams
Deron Williams. (AP)

Frustrating. I think that’s the word. The first half of Deron Williams’s season has been frustrating. I think D-Will himself will be the first to tell you that. He’s below all of his career numbers almost entirely across the board, but to tell the story of his first 50 games it goes deeper than just the numbers. 

As news broke earlier this week that Williams is suffering from ankle synovitis (inflammation) and will be shut down until after the All-Star break, it came as no shock. Sure, faulty wheels can slow down even the most impressive sport cars, so Deron playing on two bad ankles can be a reason for his poor play. But, excuses aside, the Nets courted Williams throughout his entire stay in New Jersey, and have given him the keys to the Brooklyn kingdom when he decided to re-sign. Facts are facts, however, and the fact is: Williams’s on-court production hasn’t been up to snuff with the other elite guards around the NBA. 

He hasn’t put his “stamp” on many games this season. He’s shooting just slightly above 40% from the field so far, his decision-making has been questionable and at times puzzling. He becomes invisible for long stretches far too often for a superstar. Maybe that’s a byproduct of the offense being built around the low post talents of Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, but the open looks created off that action should allow Williams to feast, not famine. 

But what’s most troubling is in my opinion, Deron has yet to exhibit the kind of leadership needed from a team’s best player and point guard. Was Williams directly responsible for the firing of Avery Johnson? Probably not, but after openly voicing his displeasure with Coach Johnson’s offense, there is some blood on his hands. The Nets have suffered embarrassing losses on more than one occasion this season, looking listless and lacking a competitive fire that should trickle down from the team’s franchise player. 

At times, we have seen glimpses of the whirling talent that he possesses, but it hasn’t come consistently enough. The Nets are banking on this extended rest time to help heal Williams’ wounds and return to his elite form. For the Brooklyn Nets to reach their true potential, Williams has to first. 
-Justin DeFeo

  Start: Andray Blatche

Full List:
Andray Blatche | Keith Bogans | MarShon Brooks | P.J. Carlesimo | Reggie Evans | Kris Humphries | Joe Johnson | Brook Lopez | Tornike Shengelia | Jerry Stackhouse | Tyshawn Taylor | Mirza Teletovic | Gerald Wallace | C.J. Watson | Deron Williams