55 GP, 55 GS, 36.3 MPG, 21.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 8.7 APG, 0.2 BPG, 1.2 SPG, 52.7 TS%, 20.3 PER, 13.7% PIE
Mikhail Prokhorov owns the Nets in name, but on the hardwood, D-Will has all the power. He’s singlehandedly the team’s best player and most valuable on-court asset. With Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and Kris Humphries for the entire season, D-Will is bound to get at least 21 points and 11 assists per game. His roster is upgraded and he’ll be strong, and more importantly, healthy (we hope).
Deron Williams: undisputed best player, 2012 All-Star point guard. Despite (or maybe due to) the caliber of teammates, D-Will played with this year, he still put up monster numbers. His 21 points per game was a career high, and his 8.7 assists, although slightly lower than normal, still ranked within the top five of the NBA this season.
We all know how important D-Will is to this team and how re-signing him in July is the number one priority for the Nets. I don’t need to get into all that. I think the point guard is the most important position on the floor, someone who can set up the flow of the offense and lead on the court. Having Deron Williams on this team is a safety net, we know we are getting excellence every single night.
I remember doing an episode of NASTV a while back where Sandy brought up the fact that Deron had played in a system in Utah, and we truthfully didn’t know how good he really was because we had only seen him under Sloan. Sloan knows how to coach point guards, just look at John Stockton. Well, now, Deron has proven he can make it anywhere, and flourished with the Nets and without help from some of his teammates.
Watching D-Will brings me back to watching Kidd in his prime for the Nets. They are both very similar players, both were born in the breed of passing point guards who could also score. Kidd was the better passer, but D-Will’s the better scorer. In a league where Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo posses one incredibly elite skill and a clear secondary one, D-Will almost plays as a combination of the two. He is great all-around, which is why he is constantly hailed among the best in his position.
Two negatives about Deron’s season: shot selection and attitude. There were many times this year where D-Will took too many shots, opting to shoot instead of finding one of his teammates. Yes, this is how he dropped 57 against Charlotte, but it’s also how he put up 5-18 against Minnesota, 2-12 in Orlando, and 4-16 against Miami. And as far as attitude goes, Deron sometimes lacks the leadership quality you’d hope to find in your best player. Sulking on the bench and playing with poor body language is not the best way to go about improving a team.
But there’s a reason Nets fans are so nervous to lose Deron Williams. He is an absolute stud point guard and essential to building the Brooklyn Nets into a dynasty.