As successful as the Brooklyn Nets have been with Deron Williams coming off the bench, it’s time for him to be inserted back into the starting lineup where he belongs.
Brooklyn has gone 3-0 during a recent stretch where they’ve started Shaun Livingston at the one and limited Williams to a reserve role following procedures on both ankles, which made perfect sense at first. But despite the consistent winning that’s taken place since coach Jason Kidd made the move, Williams proved with his last performance that he’s ready to be a part of the starting unit again, as he was good for 18 points and 11 assists in 35 minutes of the Nets’ 107-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
As good of a job as Livingston has done alongside the starters, Kidd simply can’t continue to leave Williams on the bench. At his very best Williams can still be one of the best point guards in the league. So why leave him on the bench?
Even if he’s on the floor in the critical minutes of the fourth quarter, there still has to be a part of Williams that absolutely hates watching the first few minutes of the game when he’s always been used to playing them. Kidd shouldn’t let that potential negative energy grow any more before Williams might become a distraction in the locker room.
Plus, it just doesn’t make sense to use a player with a nearly $100 million contract coming off the bench. Kidd needs to get the money’s worth out of Williams, especially when they’ve spent so much over the last few years.