Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Even before Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said as much on ESPN New York 98.7 FM on Thursday afternoon, it was already clear that Deron Williams will not be healthy for the remainder of this season unless he takes an extended rest period. Knowing Williams, that is unlikely to happen.
With the Nets at 33-22, one game out of first-place in the Atlantic Division and currently in fourth in the Eastern Conference, Williams took it upon himself to reveal just how hurt he is on Friday afternoon at shootaround before the Nets took on the Houston Rockets at Barclays Center.
The franchise point guard said he had cortisone shots in both ankles on Thursday for the third time. The first time came during training camp, but the second time he had the shots in late December was news to everyone. He also did not eliminate the possibility of getting cortisone shots for a fourth time before the playoffs begin.
The inflammation in his ankles is something only curable with rest. which is something Williams has no intention of doing right now. He took the two games before the All-Star break off following platelet-rich plasma treatment on Feb. 11.
“I just have to see how it goes,” Williams said. “Back-to-backs have been really hard for me this year and I’ve actually good the last one (on Tuesday and Wednesday) even though I played 44 minutes in the first game. Hopefully, they’re just getting better and they’ll continue to improve.”
Williams continued, “We’re in a position where right now, if we lose a couple games, we slip to sixth or seventh. If we win a couple, we’re up to second, so I need to be out there as much as possible. That’s where my focus is and I’ll continue to do the things I need to in the weight room and the training room just to stay as healthy and fresh as possible.”
The Nets have not practiced a lot this season, at least by NBA standards. When they do, Williams, who signed a five-year, $98.7 million contract in the offseason, doesn’t like to miss those either.
As the regular season begins to wind down and playoff positions are decided, Williams and Carlesimo know they’re going to have to be smart with the point guard’s minutes.
“He likes to play and he plays injured, so that’s a little bit of a dilemma,” Carlesimo said. “I haven’t talked with him about it, but that’s something we need to discuss going forward for sure, he and Joe (Johnson) in particular. We need everybody rested and healthy when the playoffs start, but that’s the huge advantage as you wind down if you know your position.”
Williams, who has played virtually non-stop for the last 17 months thanks to his participation in the London Olympics last summer, has also dealt with right wrist, right elbow, hip and quadriceps muscle ailments. He missed a game at the Bucks on Dec. 27 thanks to the wrist, but has missed just three in total this season following last week’s PRP treatment.
Williams’ left ankle, which has a bone spur, is worse than the right ankle. Offseason surgery to help the bone spur had been the assumption, but he said after shootaround that the bone spur is not the issue and that he ‘might need it, but hopefully not’ is regards to surgery.
“I think if you X-ray the whole league, I bet you over 50 percent have bone spurs in their ankles,” Williams said. “I don’t think that’s the problem. I think the problem was I haven’t had a break in a long time and I did plyometrics, a lot of box jumps this summer for the first time. I lifted heavier than I ever lifted, all the wear and tear is what put the imflammation there and I haven’t had a break to get it out. It’s just gotten worse and worse.”
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA