On Wednesday night, Deron Williams showed us he has a pretty darn good midrange game too, hitting nine jumpers in the Nets’ 99-96 victory over the Pistons on Wednesday night at Prudential Center.
“I was just taking what the defense was giving me,” said Williams, who scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second half -- including 10 in the fourth quarter -- while adding nine assists on 12-for-21 shooting.
Williams has scored more than 20 points in his last five games, averaging exactly 29 points and 8.6 assists and shooting 49.5 percent from the field over that span, a span in which the Nets have gone just 2-3.
Don’t blame Williams, though.
For the first time in his tenure as a Net, the 27-year-old is playing at an All-Star level, and looks like a lock to go to Orlando -- even if it’s only as a reserve.
Instead of pouting about injuries, his hate for his home arena or the fact that he has to play with guys that don’t deserve to still be in the NBA, Williams is putting his team on his back and carrying it.
“I just think he realized that this is our team, and that we’ve just got to go out there and play,” coach Avery Johnson said. “If he has to play with Sundiata Gaines and Jordan Farmar starting at the two and three spot, well it is what it is. And I just think he’s got a great, positive spirit right now. His energy’s good and his leadership’s good.”
So what’s changed?
“I’m just trying to get as many wins as possible,” Williams said. “Early on in the season I was letting everything affect me too much and getting too down. So I’m trying to be positive. I know it’s a tough situation that we’re in with all of these guys going down and being hurt. I’ve got to take it upon myself as a leader of this team to step up and make plays on the court.”
If you need proof, just take a look at the highlight reel. Lately, D-Will has been making the amazing happen -- living up to the NBA’s slogan.
And while he downplays just how mesmerizing his crossover is -- a combination of Jason Kidd’s and Stephon Marbury’s, he says -- Williams does point out that a lot of people have told him on Twitter that it’s the best crossover in the NBA.
Teammates Anthony Morrow and Farmar even joked recently that Williams leads the league in “crossovers for possession.”
D-Will hasn’t had Brook Lopez all season. And who knows when he’s going to get MarShon Brooks back.
Times have certainly been tough. But Williams isn’t letting it affect him like it used to.
And hopefully, better days hopefully lie ahead.
“One of these days, i’m not gonna sound like a preacher, but one of these days we’re gonna be healthy,” Johnson said.
That’ll be the day. Until then, Nets fans may as well enjoy the ride. After all, who knows how long D-Will is going to be a member of this roster.
The hope is that he moves to Brooklyn along with the franchise in 2012-13. But nothing is guaranteed.
What are your thoughts on D-Will’s recent surge? Make sure to post your comments.