Deron Williams' Nagging Ankle Injuries Are Nets' Biggest Concern

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 16, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30:  Deron Williams #8 of the Brooklyn Nets in action against the Miami Heat during their game at the Barclays Center on January 30, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Brookyln Nets have enjoyed quite a turnaround this year, but their major concern for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs has to be the status of Deron Williams' ankles.

The star point guard has missed the last two games because of inflammation in both ankles and the team is fortunate this occurrence has coincided with the NBA All-Star break. The timing gives Williams an opportunity to get some extra rest.

It is obvious the team needs Williams to be a contender in the Eastern Conference. If he isn't at 100 percent, the Nets could feasibly be in for a very short stay.

If the playoffs began today, the Nets would take on the Chicago Bulls in the opening round. The Bulls would be a formidable opponent for the Nets without a healthy Williams, but they could easily knock them off sans their star.

The two teams have split their two regular season games this season. Both teams were victorious on their home courts, but the Bulls played the game in Brooklyn without Carlos Boozer and still only lost 93-89.

They were also without Derrick Rose for both games. Rose hasn't played since he tore his ACL in the first game of the playoffs last season, but there is still a chance he could return to play for the Bulls by the playoffs.

If he is uniform, the Nets would be in dire straits without Williams to offset his presence.

If getting Williams healthy for the stretch run means giving him more rest, then that is exactly what the team should do. The Nets should not sacrifice the long-term health of a player by putting him back on the court ahead of schedule if they hope to build around for him in the following month.

For an example of how problematic things can be for a point guard (and their respective team) with chronic ankle problems, look no further than Golden State's Stephen Curry.

Curry missed 40 games during the 2011-2012 season with ankle injuries.

The Nets can't afford a similar stint without Williams. He is the most important player on the roster due to his talent and the window to drawing other potential free agents such as Dwight Howard.

The Nets must preserve their most precious asset.


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