EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Deron Williams participated in most of Thursday’s practice and did some limited contact but remains out.
Williams will miss his 11th straight game against Toronto on Friday night at Barclays. But the point guard is making progress with his fractured rib cartilage injury.
“I only did like two plays of contact,” said Williams. “It wasn’t like I did a lot. Those guys are playing heavy minutes right now and some guys are banged up so there’s not much practice we can do.”
Williams, though, couldn’t do much of anything for the first couple of weeks that he was out due to the painful injury. So this is a step in the right direction.
After the Raptors game, the Nets play the Clippers on Monday at home and then at the Raptors again next Wednesday before a home showdown against the Knicks on Friday.
“It’s a pain thing, a tolerance thing,” Williams said. “I guess when it feels I’m not feeling the pain when I’m out there playing, you know, then I guess that it’s healed.”
No place like home: The Nets (18-27) will try to avoid being shut out at home in the month of January without Williams. The Nets are 0-6 at Barclays in January with one final chance to win a January home game against Toronto (31-15) on Friday.
The Nets have lost 11 of their last 13 games but head coach Lionel Hollins still plans on grinding away and not altering his approach.
“Do you change your approach when life doesn’t go the way you want it?” Hollins said when asked if he ever changes his approach in the midst of a slump like this. “There’s some people that change their approach –- they go kill themselves. But we’re trying to compete, and play.
“I’m not trying to equate basketball with death -- life and death,” Hollins clarified. “But still, there’s adversity and you have to fight through it. You could go lay down under a bridge and beg for money -– you could do a lot of things other than keep fighting. Competition is about keep fighting. Playing sports, there’s going to be bad moments and you keep fighting.”