The NBA lockout is nearly over, which means Deron Williams will be returning to New Jersey very soon. For now, though, the Nets point guard, who just launched a new website, is wrapping up his overseas play in Turkey. Here's his sixth diary entry with ESPNNewYork.com, where he talks about hitting for a career-high 50 points for Besiktas, playing a little two guard and the health of his wrist.
I had one of the best games of my career the other night in the Euro Challenge. We were coming off our first Turkish League loss last weekend against Erdemir, which snapped our winning streak.
I had been sick for about a week leading into the Erdemir game and it took its toll on me that night. I had no energy for that game and I think it rubbed off on my teammates a little bit too. So when we came out Tuesday against Gottingen, I knew we had to get back on the winning track and make sure we righted the ship a little bit.
I came out aggressive and my shot felt really good. We were kind of struggling the whole game, so I took it upon myself to get us going. It was a pretty close game all the way through so we needed every point.
We didn't break out by 10 points until the last minute. How much you win by counts in the standings in the Euro Challenge, so you play to the end of the game no matter what.
In the process, I just happened to score 50. I was hitting some tough shots early and I had 26 at halftime, so I certainly knew it was going to be a pretty strong game for me. But you don't ever think, I'm going to score 50.
I was just playing the game and that was how it unfolded. I didn't miss many shots; I think maybe six of them all night. It was just one of those days.
I'd never scored 50 in a game in my life -- definitely not in high school or college. I wasn't really a scorer at those levels, even in the NBA. I scored more in the NBA than I ever scored before, but I never got 50.
I've had some great shooting games in the past, but never at that volume. The 23 shots I took were pretty close to a career-high I think, too. But it all really goes back to that confidence. Every shot I took that night felt like it was going in, even the ones that missed. When you see the ball go in that many times, you get in a good rhythm and your confidence can only grow from there. It makes even the tough shots seem easy.
My teammates set a lot of good screens for me and the guys got me the ball in rhythm.
I'm playing off the ball a lot here, so I'm coming off screens and getting the ball to shoot. Coming off most of the screens in the game, I was wide open, and they did a good job of helping make plays happen with screens and passes.
Playing that way isn't that foreign to me. I played a lot of two guard in Utah, as recently as last year with Earl Watson playing point. We had some good stretches where I was playing the two. In college, I played off the ball a lot with Dee Brown and Luther Head being point guards as well.
Whoever got the ball would bring it up and we ran the motion offense. Even if I played the point, I was coming off screens. I played a little two with Team USA as well, so I'm used to it.
The best part about the game was how the fans really got into it. You could tell that once I had 40 with like three minutes left they were counting. Every time I would score, you could see the excitement in the gym. You could tell they wanted me to get 50.
My teammates were into it too. Every time I came to the bench, my teammate Mehmet “Memo” Yagmur was like, "six more,” then "four more," and "two more.”
I don't want to jinx myself -- knock on wood -- but my wrist is so much better from where it was the last year and a half.
It was just so frustrating to me because I was told that all I needed to do was rest it, and when I did that, it never got better. I'm happy I had the surgery when I did, so now I don't have to worry about it and that's allowed me to play my game.
I think the experience here has been good for me. I hope to be on the U.S. Olympic team next year, and this will only help me prepare for it if I happen to be in London. I'll have a lot of European basketball experience under my belt.