After the Brooklyn Nets knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday of this week, the rightful questions were being asked. With a win over one of the best teams in the NBA, could the Nets garner any momentum and try to get closer to .500 or would they squander the opportunity like they have already numerous times this season.
On Saturday, Brooklyn played their first game since the win over the Thunder and they seemed to be riding that momentum. Sure, they were only able to shut down the Cleveland Cavaliers without Kyrie Irving, but grabbing an 89-82 victory for a two-game winning streak is important for the Nets, especially because of how their star players performed on Saturday.
Paul Pierce came up big for the Nets as he scored 17 points in 34 minutes while also adding five assists and three blocks. Even bigger of an impact came from point guard Deron Williams, though, who put up 21 points and six assists in 38 minutes while shooting a stellar 7-10 from the field.
Williams was big in the win over the Thunder, as well. Playing a daunting 41 minutes against OKC, Williams finished the night with 29 points, four assists and five steals while hitting 10 of his 17 field goal attempts and going 6-9 from beyond-the-arc. His offense near single-handedly kept the Nets in the game to keep them close enough for Joe Johnson to net a game-winner at the buzzer.
It’s no accident that the Nets are getting wins and Williams is playing well. With Brook Lopez out for the rest of the year, Brooklyn is going to need their remaining stars to step up on a near nightly basis. Williams is certainly the most capable because he can affect the game as both a scorer and playmaker. If he keeps playing at this level, don’t be surprised to see the Nets start creeping in an upward trajectory in the standings.