On Sunday night, the third anniversary of his trade to the Nets, Deron Williams played like his old self, the All-Star point guard they were more than willing to surrender Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first-round draft picks for.
Williams scored a season-high 30 points, dished out seven assists, collected a career-high six steals and added five rebounds in Brooklyn’s 108-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
“I’m just feeling better. I’m getting some good treatment. My ankles are feeling better and my confidence is up because of that,” Williams told the YES Network after playing 39 minutes. “When I feel like I can feel my legs, when I can jump and when I can be active, I’m a different basketball player.”
The last Net to have a stat-line that included 25 or more points, seven or more assists and six or more steals? How about current coach Jason Kidd, who accomplished the feat, get this, exactly eight years ago to the day. “Deron’s playing at a high level,” Kidd told reporters. “And he needs to continue to do that for us to have success.”
Since the All-Star break, Williams is averaging 23.0 points, 6.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.0 turnovers on 48.9 percent shooting.
“Finally he’s getting rid of all his injuries, and as soon as he starts getting in game-shape he’s tremendous,” Andrei Kirilenko told reporters. “We want him to be at that level, and as players we want to push him to get there.”
Deron Williams, understandably, due to all the injuries he’s endured, has been frustrated about it being a big deal when he has one good game. Well, it looks like it’s starting to become the norm again. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be in awe of it.
Jason Collins, who made history by becoming the first openly gay man to play in an NBA game, didn’t want to make a big deal about it, saying he just wants to be known as a basketball player who can help his team win.
Question: What do you think about D-Will’s recent success? Let us know in the comments section.
In case you missed it: Well, you missed history. Read all about it on the blog.
Stat of the night: Williams improved to 1-18 as a starter against the Lakers at Staples Center (including playoffs).
Up next: The Nets are off Monday