All assists are not created equal, and. Look at the box score from Monday night’s Brooklyn Nets win over the Manhattan/New York Knicks, and you’ll see that Deron Williams had 14 assists, a number that he has equaled or bettered only 12 times in his career as a Net. But merely looking at that still-impressive number in a box score, without context, doesn’t do his performance and those assists justice.
Luckily for you, TheBrooklynGame.com is here to serve as the judge and jury for all of D-Will’s assists, restoring order to the land of the Nets, and serving justice to some of those better, more difficult assists that Williams completed last night.
His passes came in a dazzling array. An underhand dish, a no-look in the lane, a one-handed pass off the bounce; you name it, Williams tossed it. All assists aren’t created equal, some rise above.
Don’t believe me? Just watch.
This first one seems simple enough — a shuffle pass to an open teammate — but there’s a bit more if you dig deeper. This pass speaks to Deron Williams’ unselfish nature; after some Nets ball movement the ball swings to Williams at the top of the key. Williams is in great position to fire off a three-pointer here, but sometimes it’s the next open shot that’s the better option.
The coach inside me — and, presumably, Williams — can’t help but scream “one more!” after he receives the ball, knowing it’s just that one extra pass that can sometimes spurn a run, but Williams plays this perfectly. He gets his eyes and head on the rim for just long enough to sucker in a closing out Carmelo Anthony and after he’s properly baited, Williams casually flicks the ball to an open Gerald Wallace for the made three.
One-Hand Bounce Pass Goodness
Looking at the next set of assists, we go from the amazingly simple to just amazing. Multiple times throughout the game, Deron Williams found Nets cutters and was able to thread a needle that would make tailors jealous.
The process of delivery Williams most often took? A one-handed bounce pass. Traditionalists may shirk the one-hand method, but if you notice, each one of these passes comes off the dribble, and because Williams is using one hand, it allows the passes to come quicker and without interruption. The impossibly tight windows that he’s passing into is just a viewing bonus.
One thing that can be said of any great point guard — and it’s true with D-Will — if you get open, they’ll find you. Brook Lopez is quickly discovering just how true this is. For Brook, getting open can sometimes mean simply running the floor harder than his opponent.
Multiple times throughout this season, Brook has gotten dunks or layups simply by running the floor, and last night was no exception. As a trailing player, Brook has the advantage of sneaking in behind defenders who have their eyes and sometimes bodies turned toward the basketball. All Deron Williams has to do is wait for the appropriate seam to open up and drop the dime.