Deron Williams is supposed to be the franchise player for the Brooklyn Nets. Instead, he’s looked more like a $98 million dollar joke.
As soon as he got to the Nets in 2012, he immediately started complaining. Avery Johnson wasn’t a good enough coach, the Nets had to trade a first-round pick for Gerald Wallace in order for him to even consider resigning (a pick that turned into Damion Lillard), and then he made them trade for Joe Johnson after the teams failed pursuit of Dwight Howard before signing a 5-year $98 million dollar extension.
Then this past off-season, Williams played a significant role in the hiring of Jason Kidd as head coach. Entering the 2013-2014 season, Williams finally had the coach he could co-exist with, and he was going to be the face of a Nets team that was destined for the promise land.
The exact opposite has happened. Williams had his worst statistical season since his rookie year averaging 14.3 points, and 6.1 assists. That Deron Williams Chris Paul debate is long, LONG over. As a matter of fact, it’s even disrespectful to bring up Deron Williams and Chris Paul in the same sentence.
Fast forward to the Nets Raptors first-round series, and Kyle Lowry has made Williams look like he does not even belong in the league.
The last 2 games have been especially atrocious. In game 4, Williams scored just 10 points on 4/12 from the field, shot 0/5 from 3, and had 1 more assist than turnovers (6-5).
Game 5 wasn’t much better. Williams scored 11 points and had 9 assists, which is actually the most he’s had in a game since April 5th.
Looking past the assists numbers, Williams looked terrible on the court. His speed is long gone, his ability to drive to the basket has disappeared, as has his ability to score in the paint.
Kyle Lowry on the other hand, has been on another level this whole series. In game 5, he dropped 36 points on 6/9 from deep.
Now, the Nets are one game away from elimination, and it’s in large part due to the horrendous play of Deron Williams.
If the Nets are going to survive against Toronto, Deron Williams has to pick up his play drastically, or else the Nets are going home way earlier than they would have liked, and a player that was supposed to be the face of the franchise will be looked as the goat that brought the team down.