There was a time not long ago when Deron Williams was considered to be among the best point guards in the league. His size, speed and court vision were elite, and he regularly was good for games in excess of 20 points and 10 assists.
But ankle problems have limited Williams in recent years, and last season in Brooklyn was his worst statistically since his rookie campaign back in 2006.
He’s feeling much better following offseason surgery, however, and believes there’s no pressure on him to perform after two straight sub-par seasons have taken him out of the national spotlight.
“Everybody’s pretty much written me off,” Williams told the team’s official website. “People say I’m never gonna be like I once was. I’m on the downhill. And so what pressure do I have?” …
“I’m a lot more confident,” Williams said. “I just didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ankles (the last two seasons). They wouldn’t allow me to do the things I was capable of doing.” …
“He has the looks of a man who is out to prove something,” Kevin Garnett said.
With the loss of Paul Pierce in free agency, Williams is going to need to be more involved offensively for the Nets to succeed. Getting Brook Lopez back will help overall, and with a new coach in Lionel Hollins, the offense will look very different than it did a season ago.
Having a healthy and confident Williams to run it could make a huge difference.