The video above is from Sunday night’s 108-102 Nets victory, and you see a refreshed Deron Williams: he’s getting into the lane more easily on and off the ball, dribbling around defenders, and cruising to a season-high 30 points. Eight of Williams’s 16 field goal attempts came in the paint, and he drew enough fouls to get to the line 13 times.
It’s been a similar story for Deron Williams for three years: he’s suffered injury after injury, impeding his ability to get to the rim and develop a consistent synergy with the lineup.
But there’s been a consistent theme over the past two years with Williams: once the second half of the season hits, Williams hits his stride. Williams started to improve in January last season, averaging 18.7 points and 8.3 assists per game on 45.6 percent shooting (42 percent from deep) in the month, before catching fire after the All-Star break, setting NBA records and ranking fifth in the league in PER after the break.
Williams underwent treatment in January that impeded him from playing much of the month, but it looks like that’s happened again. Williams shot a scorching 51.2 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from three-point range in the month. His shooting suffered in February, but after some All-Star break rest, Williams has put up 19, 20, and this season-high 30 points.