Nets-Cavaliers: 3 Things To Watch

Shaun Livingston
The Nets play host to C.J. Miles & the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. (AP)

3) Deron Williams’s playing time.

Deron Williams
Deron Williams (AP)

Williams has quietly improved since the All-Star break, and he’s scored more than 20 points in four of the team’s last six games. In wins, Williams has scorched the nets, averaging 50 percent shooting from the field and 40.2 percent from three-point range. In losses, those numbers drop to 41.9 percent from the field and 35 percent from deep.

Williams has been the team’s offensive firepower: with all the talk of new players and new lineups and small/longball lineups, the Nets go as he goes: with Williams on the floor, the Nets are nearly eight points better per 100 possessions on offense, with a jump from 101.8 points per 100 possessions to 108.4. They shoot significantly better, they cause more deflections, and they create three more looks off assists per 48 minutes.

That said, he’s also played over 40 minutes in each of the team’s last three overtime games. With Gutierrez signed for the rest of the year, he might get some extra chances to give Williams rest.