The Brooklyn Nets had every single thing go their way this offseason.
Then came Wednesday, when news broke that Deron Williams reportedly sprained his ankle and suffered a bone bruise recently while working out in Utah, suddenly reminding everyone that it’s impossible for the Nets to avoid all unexpected twists in the road, no matter how high they’ve set the bar for themselves.
Fortunately for Brooklyn, this could’ve been in an infinitely worse situation. Williams is still expected to be ready to go by the time training camp starts up in less than two weeks.
But this incident should be taken with complete seriousness by the organization nonetheless. Ankle injuries greatly limited Williams for a great portion of last season before he underwent platelet-rich plasma treatment just before the All Star break, which helped him get back to his old dominant ways.
Williams is still seeking to be the team’s leader even after the acquisitions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett this summer, and new coach Jason Kidd cannot allow the weight of that responsibility to give Williams a sense of urgency when it comes to returning and remaining in the lineup at all costs.
As it’s been discussed for months on end, depth is not an issue for the Nets. If Williams actually doesn’t get back to 100 percent right away, Kidd should be ultra-cautious and keep him off the court until he’s there. The last thing the Nets want to do is run Williams out there and risk him worsening the injury. Winning games early on in the season isn’t worth the gamble of losing your best player for prolonged stretches.
Things can’t always be rosy, not even for this highly-anticipated team, but they must still keep in mind that the most important thing about these moments of concern is to handle them as wisely as possible.