After playing last season with the Clash hit “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” as his theme song, All-Star point guard Deron Williams decided to sign on last summer for another stint with the Nets, joining the team in their new home in Brooklyn. Although the Dallas Mavericks, put on a full-court press to sign him once he became a Free Agent, D-Will decided to stick with the squad that sent some young talented players to the Utah Jazz in exchange for him before the 2011 NBA trade deadline occurred.
Brooklyn started off the current campaign well, ending the month of November with an 11-4 mark, a stong enough record that Nets bench boss Avery Johnson was named NBA Eastern Conference Coach of The Month. December, has not been as kind to the squad as they have a record of 13-11 after falling to the Jazz Tuesday night 92-90. It was the second straight loss for the club and they have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games.
One factor in Brooklyn’s poor play of late; is the declining offense of Williams, as he has yet to find consistency in the first quarter of the campaign. After averaging 21.0 points per contest last season, the guard is scoring just 17.0 points, in the Nets 24 games this go-round. Speaking with the media on Monday, the “New York Times” reported that the All-Star guard told reporters that he had pinpointed the cause of his offensive woes; the offensive game plan of his coach Avery Johnson.
D-Will praised the offense of Jerry Sloan, his coach with the Jazz to the collective media, (even though it was reported that Williams was the force that drove Sloan to retirement) as well as saying that the Nets offense is not conducive to his game. Williams said “That system was a great system for my style of play. I’m a system player. I love Coach Sloan’s system. I loved the offense there. Is it as good as there? No, there’s just more one-on-one and isos.”
There are two problems that I have with Williams’ statement; the first being, if Sloan’s system was perfect for him, than why was he reportedly the main reason behind Sloan’s departure, as well as leaving Utah to believe that he would have left the team last July 1? Is this just a case of realizing what he once had and now misses it because it’s gone, or is this just an excuse for his less than stellar numbers.
The second question I have for Deron, is if the offense is so unsuitable for you; why did you sign back on with Brooklyn in early July? If he truly felt that the system did not fit for him, then why did he decide to go back there? Just because he would receive more money from the team he played for last year? That theory does not conform to how most NBA observers perceive Williams, so then there has to be another cause to his slump. Could it be that the reason for Williams’ scoring problems is just that he is having a bad season?
The Nets starting guard is shooting at just 38.9% from the field, only the second time in his career he has averaged under 40% shooting. He is not the club’s leading scorer, actually he is the third best in the scoring department following Brook Lopez who does lead the squad and Joe Johnson. Tuesday night he shot 5-12, missing all three of his attempts outside the arc; ending the night with 14 points. Johnson led the club with 21 points in the loss.
If a first or second-year player had made this statement, most of us would just shake our heads while we think he’ll eventually learn, or his career in the Association will be short. For an All-Star and a max-contract player, such as Williams, one would hope he was above playing the blame game; apparently that is not the case in Brooklyn.