It’s not hard to see that Deron Williams‘ game has been stepped up a bit since Avery Johnson was fired. Through his first 27 games he shot just 39.8 percent and averaged 16.6 points and 8.0 assists per game. Since then he’s up to 42.5 percent, 16.7 points, and 6.7 assists. He’s even better over his last four games averaging 20 points, 8.8 assists, and a 48.1 shooting percentage.
The assists might be down, but his shots, which were the biggest part of his problem, were down and it sounds like it has more to do with some of his minor injuries healing than a change of coaches.
“I feel good. I’m just trying not to think so much when I’m out there on the court,” Williams told Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. ”When I just go out and play, that’s when I’m at my best.”
“I’ve been doing a lot more treatment and just being smarter about my minutes during practice and things like that,” Williams said. “I’ve been taking less of a pounding and I just feel better. … I got more lift. I got more explosiveness, which I was lacking earlier.”
It’s funny how players are better when they’re healthy. It also doesn’t hurt that the Nets opponents haven’t exactly been outstanding during P.J. Carlesimo’s 6-1 stretch. They’ve played just two good teams and five not so great ones. They did beat the Thunder in dramatic fashion, but they lost that way to the Spurs too so it’s hard to give them too much credit there.