The Brooklyn Nets had to be worried after the first three and a half months of the 2012-13 NBA season. Before the All-Star break their star player, Deron Williams, got off to a horrific start and really didn’t look like himself. They were staying afloat and were still in the Eastern Conference playoff-picture, but they had to be worried about how much longer they could stay that way without Williams playing well. That’s no longer a worry for the Nets.
Since All-Star Weekend Williams has turned it up a notch and has looked like one of the best point guards in the league. In the 17 games since then he has averaged 23.4 points, 7.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. More importantly he’s shot 47.7 percent from the field and 44.2 percent from beyond the arc. That’s what Brooklyn expects of Williams and what the team needs him to do to find success.
However, one of the things that’s overlooked because of the shadow that Williams casts is how well C.J. Watson has played over this season and since the All-Star break, as well. In those 17 games that Williams has picked up his play, Watson has done the same. Watson has averaged 8.2 points, 2.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game in his backup point guard role. He’s also shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 52.4 percent from long range. For a reserve that is fantastic production.
The way Brooklyn’s point guards have played in the second part of the season has been an integral part of how they’ve been able to be successful over that time. With Joe Johnson still struggling, they need perimeter players to provide offense from the outside and to open up the interior for Brook Lopez. If the Nets want to possibly do some things in the playoffs, Williams and Watson are going to have to continue to play at this high level.