All-Time Nets All-Stars, Point Guard Edition: Deron Williams and fleeting dominance

All-Time Nets All-Stars, Point Guard Edition: Deron Williams and fleeting dominance
Deron Williams, Mike Scott, John Jenkins
Deron Williams. (AP)

[gravityform id=”88″ name=”All-Star Point Guards” title=”false” description=”false”]

2012-2013 Stats: 78 GP, 36.4 MPG, 18.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 44.0 FG%, 37.8 3P%, 85.9 FT%
2012-2013 Advanced: 57.4 TS%, 51.6 eFG%, 20.3 PER, 118 ORtg, 109 DRtg, 10.9 WS
All-Star Team? No
Team: 49-33, lost in first round to Chicago Bulls (4-3)

Hi, guys. It’s you, from April last year. I know you’re unhappy with Deron Williams right now. He’s not explosive, he’s not creating much offense, and he’s missing shots.

I’m here to remind you of a better, happier time, of a time when Deron Williams was who we thought he was.

I’m not sure if Williams has ever really adjusted to the “superstar in New York” vibe that he and Carmelo Anthony are allegedly supposed to share since they each found their way to the city within 24 hours of one another in 2011. But last season, he sure as hell knew how to play basketball. (That’s what these guys are paid to do, right? In New York, I’m never quite sure.) Williams had a well-publicized rough start to the season, struggling to find his shot and his health in the first two months as the team sputtered to a 14-14 start under Avery Johnson.

But Johnson got the boot, Williams got treatment for his ankles, and all of a sudden, everything changed: Williams was hitting shots with ease, hitting Brook Lopez for easy buckets, even playing some impassioned defense in important games, led the Nets to a 49-33 record and a first-round series, broke an NBA record for most three-pointers in a half, and crossed up dudes left and right, and left and right, and left again.

That one around the 3-minute mark against the Sixers gets me every time. He puts it between his legs at full speed and keeps going!

We haven’t seen much of that Williams this year, but let’s not forget just how incredible it was to see him go at his best. He had that. Despite all his struggles before and after it, he really was that damn good last year. He’s the best shooter of anybody listed here. He led his team to a better record than anybody here (and tied with Kidd).

He wasn’t just putting up numbers on a bad team, he was leading the Nets to victories. He assisted on a shocking number of Brook Lopez’s field goals. Sure, Brook the All-Star was hitting the shots, but Williams was setting him up with the easy ones: Brook shot 53% with Deron on the floor, and 45% with Deron on the bench, with way more shots in the restricted area when he and Deron shared the floor.

Even though they lost in seven games in the first round, you can’t put that Game 7 loss on him, not when Joakim Noah tore Brook Lopez apart in the weirdest matchup ever and Joe Johnson shot 2-14 on a bad foot. He scored nine points in that last quarter when no one else was making the difference. You also can’t put Game 4 on him, since Nate Robinson made a deal with the devil that day.

Flawed? Yes. He’s also the only guy on this list who didn’t make the All-Star team in the season he’s voted for. But switch his first half of the season with the second. He’d be a starter, no question. He made everyone a threat, most terrifyingly himself. It was a stretch of dominance few Nets have ever seen.

[gravityform id=”88″ name=”All-Star Point Guards” title=”false” description=”false”]
View all: