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What happens when you load a whole bunch of talent onto one team? Do they win championships? Well, if so, it doesn't look that way for the Brooklyn Nets. There seems to be too many big fish in a small pond, and not everyone is getting the opportunities they deserve. Case in point, Deron Williams.
Over his career, the point guard has averaged 17.7 points per game with 3.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists. Since the beginning of the 2013-14 season, his numbers have regressed for the most part.
He is now only scoring an average of 11.1 points, and his rebounds have decreased to two per game. Meanwhile, his assists have increased from 7.4 on average to 9.
An increase in assists means that Williams does not have much scoring opportunity. But that is what he does. He's not a defender-type. And it's clear that he hasn't gotten used to playing with the newest stars on the team, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. And the fact that he is coming back from an ankle injury has not helped.
Right now, he's struggling. Big time.
In a game against the Indiana Pacers, Williams scored 17 points with 10 assists. But he had late game nerves, or loss of focus, that ultimately cost the Nets the game. First, he unnecessarily fouled George Hill. Then, he caused a critical turnover when David West stripped him of the ball with just a little over a minute left in the game. The Pacers went on to win the game 96-91.
As the team headed to their West coast trip, Williams told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York that he was starting to feel better. “I want to get back to playing basketball,” Williams said. “I haven't been able to do it and now I'm just getting to where I feel like I can attack. And I'm starting to feel like my old self again.”
Of course, I don't think Williams is the only one who is feeling uncomfortable with the new lineup. The Nets need to become more familiar with each other and more team-oriented. That's the only way that they can close out games.
They need to take a note from the Hakuna Matata vibe going on in the Celtics' locker room.