D-Will: Injuries killed playoff hopes

The Nets are 6.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 20 games remaining. So unless they go on what coach Avery Johnson referred to as a “crazy winning streak” on Monday morning, they aren’t getting in.

For what it’s worth, Deron Williams thinks the Nets would’ve been a playoff team had they not sustained so many injuries throughout the season.

“I think we’ve a playoff team if Brook [Lopez] was healthy, and if other guys had stayed healthy as well,” Williams said. “We’ve had a number of injuries throughout the season. MarShon [Brooks] went down, A-Mo [Anthony Morrow] went down, Jordan [Farmar]’s been banged up all season. He’s been playing through a lot of pain from the last 2-3 weeks, we just haven’t had guys healthy. DeShawn [Stevenson], Shawne Williams. It’s just been a tough year for everybody, I think, to get any type of chemistry, especially in a shortened season where there’s not a lot of practice, guys are coming in and out, we’ve had a lot of D-League callups, it’s just hard to build chemistry.”

No team has suffered more injuries than the Nets this season.


Shelden Williams is the only Net to have appeared in all 46 games.

• Three different small forwards -- Damion James, Shawne Williams (traded) and Keith Bogans (waived) have already been lost for the season.

• The Nets have put out 20 different starting lineups -- more than any other team.

“That’s the frustrating part about this season,” Williams said. “We haven’t had everybody healthy at the same time. It seems like once somebody comes back, another person goes down. It’s been tough for us.”

It all started when Lopez -- the team’s only interior scoring threat -- went down with a broken foot in the second preseason game. And it’s only gotten worse from there.

The Nets have had Lopez in the lineup for just five games. He’s currently out with a sprained right ankle, and the team won’t have an update on his status until Friday.

Williams had made the playoffs from 2006-07 to 2009-10 in Utah. Now, he’s about to be 0-for-2 in New Jersey.

“It’s hard to -- I don’t want to say get up for games because of course you wanna win every time you step on the floor -- but when you’re trying to make the playoffs it’s motivation to play harder and try to climb the standings, so we’ve gotta try to do that even though we know it’s going to be hard to make the playoffs,” Williams said. “It’s a challenge.”

The Nets (15-31, 5-16 home) currently rank last in the NBA in points in the paint, field-goal percent defense and 3-point field-goal percentage defense. Doomed by poor starts, they are 5-23 when trailing at the half.

Williams say he no longer gets caught up “in today.”

“Early on this year I was. It’s the only thing that was making me go crazy. So I’ve just tried to take it game by game and try to win as many games as possible, like I said, and see what happens,” he said.

Williams thinks the Nets will look different next season.

Question is: will he be part of the roster?

Weigh in: What do you think of D-Will’s comments? Let us know in the comments section.