Deron Williams Admits Confidence Is Low, 'It's Just Been a Struggle'

Ben LeibowitzCorrespondent IIIFebruary 3, 2014

Dec 31, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams (8) drives to the basket while guarded by San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams—who has missed 16 games during the 2013-14 season due to injury—said his confidence isn't where it needs to be.

D-Will said the following about his confidence level after a 97-96 loss against the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 1, per the New York Post's Tim Bontemps:

It's not my highest. It's been tough...just being in and out of the lineups, missing two weeks here and there.

I feel like I get my legs back, get my legs in shape, and then I go out again. Then I’ve got to just do it all over again. It’s just been a struggle.

Williams finished with 13 points and six assists in the loss to Indiana, shooting 3-of-12 from the floor in his return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench for six straight.

The road game against Indy was the second game of a back-to-back set, which Bontemps explains has been a struggle for the 29-year-old.

His legs have repeatedly proved to be an issue in back-to-back games, when he has consistently shot worse (43.7 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from 3-point range) than he has in games when the Nets haven’t played the night before.

“I think back-to-backs have been tough the whole year on me. I played a lot of minutes [Saturday], and I could feel them getting heavy, but there’s no excuses. That’s my job. I’ve got to find ways to push through it,” Williams said.

In 29 games (23 starts), Brooklyn's floor general is averaging 13.2 points per game—down significantly from the 18.9 points he averaged a season ago. He's been scoring efficiently by shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range, but the Nets need him to be more assertive.

At 20-25, Brooklyn holds the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are one game ahead of the No. 8 Charlotte Bobcats and 2.5 games behind the No. 6 Chicago Bulls.

Since losing center Brook Lopez for the season due to a broken foot on Dec. 20, Brooklyn has compiled an improbable 11-8 record. Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett have picked up the slack in the big man's absence, but Jason Kidd is still waiting for his point guard to get comfortable.

The veteran point guard experienced a rough start to the 2012-13 season as well by averaging 15.7 points on 38.8 percent shooting in November.

However, he was able to turn things around at the end of the season by averaging 21.9 points and 7.7 assists in March and 24.6 points and 8.4 assists in April.

Perhaps Williams can once again experience a dominant run at the end of 2013-14 if he can manage to get his legs underneath him.