Brooklyn Nets New Year’s Resolutions

Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez
Well… (AP)

Deron Williams

Deron Williams
Deron Williams (AP)

Deron Williams 2013 Stats: GP: 67, MPG: 34.45, FG%: 46.38% 3FG%: 41.8%, FT%: 86.2%, RPG: 2.72, APG: 7.67

RESOLUTION: There are so many problems with this Nets team right now, and much of the blame falls squarely on the point guard’s shoulders. He’s the leader, the team’s $100 million man, the All-Star they’ve built this flawed roster around for the last two seasons.

Williams has been efficient with the possessions he’s used offensively, but he’s only used 22 percent of the team’s possessions when on the floor, a slightly-above-average figure, and is turning the ball over at a career-high rate. With Williams’s scoring talent on a team struggling to score, his low usage rate and high turnover rate make for a perplexing combination.

If he’s been fully healthy when he says he’s been — which is never a guarantee with Williams’s balky ankles — then he’s shown a curious propensity for shying away from the rim and avoiding contact, particularly coming around screens, and turning the ball over in pick-and-roll situations. Williams gets multiple screens per game as the team’s facilitator, but only ends up shooting, getting fouled, or committing a turnover on about three pick-and-roll possessions per game, turning the ball over on nearly 30 percent of those — and most of those turnovers were bad passes by Williams.

So my resolution for Williams: attack with impunity, defer only when absolutely necessary, and use screens with the purpose they deserve.

HIGH POINT: Hard to pick just one moment after his platelet-rich plasma therapy treatment, cortisone shots, and juice cleanse set off the best 28-game stretch of Williams’s Nets career, but I’ll choose when he broke an NBA record for most three-pointers in a half:

LOW POINT: Since it’s still fresh in our memories, let’s go with December 31st, 2013, when a listless Williams led the Nets to a demolishing 21-point loss at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.

Okay, there are worse. But Williams’s low point isn’t just a point, but a series. He’ll follow up a brilliant performance with a completely inexplicable lack of energy, effort, and shooting acumen. If you’ve watched the Nets this last year, you know what that point is. How could I say just one?

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Full List:

Alan Anderson | Andray Blatche | Reggie Evans | Kevin Garnett | Joe Johnson | Andrei Kirilenko | Shaun Livingston | Brook Lopez | Paul Pierce | Mason Plumlee | Tornike Shengelia | Tyshawn Taylor | Mirza Teletovic | Jason Terry | Deron Williams | Billy King | Mikhail Prokhorov | Jason Kidd |