dwill struggle

The Nets need another second-half surge from Deron Williams

The Nets ended the first half of the season on a down note, losing to the Chicago Bulls on the road.

Deron Williams had six turnovers, something that’s been plaguing him in recent weeks, and as we hit the All-Star break, nobody could use a break more than D-Will.

Williams finished the first half averaging a career-low 13.3 points per game, and his 6.6 assists per game are the lowest APG he’s had since his rookie season in Utah.

After Thursday’s loss, Williams admitted that he very much welcomes the All-Star break right now, but it’s not his oft-injured ankles that he’s looking forward to resting.

“It’s definitely needed. I’m going to step away for a little bit and get my mind right more than anything. [...] Just to kind of clear our heads and get right. I know for me especially, just to try to get my confidence back and step away for a minute.”

Jon Presser, Contributor

Injuries have seemed to slow down the 29-year-old point guard the last couple of years, and if D-Will’s not 100%, you can certainly see why that would affect his confidence. Whatever the reason is, the bottom line is that Deron is not playing at the level the Nets expect of him, and not the level they need of him.

Last year at this time, Deron was averaging 16.7 PPG and 7.7 APG, with a 41.3% shooting percentage that was actually worse than the 45.1% he’s shooting this year. However, D-Will seemed to be much healthier post All-Star break, and he had a great second half, averaging 22.9 PPG and 8.0 APG, shooting 48.1% from the field.

That shooting touch manifested itself in an even bigger way from behind the arc, as Williams improved his three-point shooting percentage from 34.7% in the first half of the 2012-13 season to 42.0% in the second half. That’s the D-Will the Nets need.

Having six days off should help with the wear-and-tear, mentally and physically. The question is, are we going to see that version of D-Will again this season? It might be a lot to ask right now, but it shouldn’t be too much to ask. The Nets brought him here to be that guy, and if they want to make a serious playoff run, he needs to be that guy.