Though Brook Lopez may have been the only NBA All-Star on the Brooklyn Nets in the 2012-2013 NBA season, it’s been clear for the past two seasons that the Nets are built around their star point guard, Deron Williams. Even with the additions of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko from this off-season, a lot of Brooklyn’s potential still hinges on Williams.
Overall, Williams had a solid season last year, though his production dipped a little bit with the arrival of Joe Johnson and emergence of Lopez. In 78 games Williams averaged 18.9 points, 7.7 assists and three rebounds in 36.4 minutes per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from long-range. However, his final numbers don’t tell you everything that you need to know.
Williams got off to a horrid start to last season. In 50 games prior to the All-Star Break, Williams averaged only 16.7 points, 7.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 36.5 minutes per game while shooting a paltry 41.3 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from three. In the 28 games after the All-Star Break, though, he averaged 22.9 points, eight assists, 2.5 boards and 1.1 steals in 36.4 minutes per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and 42 percent from three.
Essentially, Williams was wildly inconsistent last season, which really personified the inconsistency of the Nets as a whole. Coming into the next season, that inconsistency is something that has to change in Brooklyn.
There’s no question that the Nets have an influx of veterans on their team, but it’s likely that Williams will still be expected to be one of the leaders of this team. The responsibility that comes with that is being consistent for the entire 82-game season. Night after night, Williams has to bring maximum effort to the table and be fully engaged as a player and leader. If he’s not able to do that, even with the Nets’ additions, this Brooklyn team will fall short once again.