In just his seventh season, Deron Williams has established himself as one of the all-time great point guards. He added to his legacy on Wednesday night when he earned assist number 5,000 against the Detroit Pistons.
For Williams, the individual milestone is nice, but what really matters is that his Brooklyn Nets were able to pull off a win against a persistent Detroit team that would just not go away. The win brings the Nets to within two and a half games of the division leading New York Knicks.
Things are looking up for the Nets, and one of the biggest reasons behind their success is Deron Williams. The Nets knew they had scored a huge coup when they landed the talented guard midway through the 2010-11 season, but they hit the NBA jackpot when Williams chose to stay with the team as it made its move into Brooklyn.
At 28-years old, Williams still has a ton of basketball left in him and as good as he has been, he will only get better. He is currently seventh all time in assists, averaging 9.04 per game, and out of active players, only Chris Paul has a higher average.
Having Williams on the floor makes a talented Brooklyn squad that much better, and with rumors swirling of them possibly adding more talent before the trade deadline, expect to see the Nets make a deep run into the playoffs this season.
To make a serious run at the NBA Finals, the Nets would have to get passed teams like the Knicks, the Boston Celtics, and the Miami Heat. The Nets may not be ready for those match-ups just yet, but with Williams on the floor, they cannot be ruled out either. Things are getting exciting in the East, and with the other half of the season yet to go, it can only get better.