As Deron Williams recovers from a sprained ankle and awaits his return to the Brooklyn Nets, his teammates are left playing the beginning of the preseason without him.
That’s something to be remembered, because as the microscope focuses in on Brooklyn and what they look like right now after a summer of acquisitions galore, we’re still yet to see what they truly envisioned being.
The word in Brooklyn right now is that there’s no set date for when Williams is expected to be back.
So if there are moments in Williams’ absence where all that new talent doesn’t appear to be gelling as efficiently as assumed, it should be kept in mind that he’s going to be, as Reggie Jackson once said, “the straw that stirs the drink.”
That’s how big of a difference Williams’ presence is going to make once he eventually returns to the lineup. At his healthiest, there’s no doubt that he is still one of the league’s most elite playmakers.
In a way, missing Williams does have one sort of strange advantage to it for Brooklyn.
It allows the Nets to not show all of their cards before the start of the regular season. I expect he should be able to compete in at least a handful of preseason games within the next few weeks, but even that won’t be enough for teams to gauge how lethal a completed Nets lineup can be.
But the most important thing for the Nets to think about is Williams’ long-term health. This injury lingering throughout the season the way ankle ailments derailed him through much of last year is definitely their biggest fear.
The wait continues for Williams. It’s everyone around the league waiting for one reason or another.