The Brooklyn Nets have a lot of new faces in town, as most people know by now. Not only are they going to have Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko bolstering their rotation, but they are also going to have new blood in the realm of head coaching with former NBA point guard, Jason Kidd.
There are a lot of questions about how Kidd will fare. No one knows how he will perform in terms of Xs and Os, making adjustments mid-game and over time, and managing the minutes of guys like Pierce and Garnett. However, many people are excited about the idea of Kidd working with Nets star point guard Deron Williams.
Williams underperformed as a whole last season for the Nets, particularly in the first half of the year. Overall he averaged 18.9 points, 7.7 assists and three rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from the floor and 37.8 percent from three. However, in the 50 games before the All-Star break he averaged only 16.7 points, 7.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game and shot only 41.3 percent from the floor and 34.7 percent from three.
Williams was noticeably more effective after the All-Star break, which is something that Kidd has said he is going to focus on. Specifically, Kidd wants to get Williams assists numbers up. In a recent interview with Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Kidd said that he is going to “push” Williams to be better this season. Kidd also iterated that he wanted he and his point guard to set goals for this season, mentioning getting D-Will back to averaging double-digit assits.
Williams had 10 assists or more 22 times last season for Brooklyn with the Nets going 12-10 in those games. However, a lot of that is because Williams seemed to use assists as somewhat of a crutch last season, choosing to facilitate as a secondary option when he wasn’t scoring efficiently.
Kidd’s biggest challenge this season with Williams is pushing him to be a playmaker with both his passing and his scoring. With all of the weapons that the Nets have, Williams obviously should have the opportunity to get his assist numbers up. Alongside that, though, Kidd has to push Williams to also continue being a scoring threat.
There’s absolutely no denying Williams’ talent. In actuality, he really just needs the right person to light a fire under his rear and get him playing like and All-Star once again. If Kidd holds true to his word, he has the chance to be the guy to do just that.