This is the time of the year when Deron Williams usually shows why he was once considered one of the best point guards in the NBA. Last season after dealing with injuries and weight problems, Williams got himself and the Brooklyn Nets back on track after the All-Star break.
This year has been no different as Williams has dealt with ankle problems for the first half of the season. Now that he is fully healthy the Nets are entering the later stages of the season as the hottest team in the Eastern Conference. No matter the competition he has played with a chip on his shoulder and has put the organization on his back as they continue to move up the conference standings.
He is not alone in turning the season around as his teammates have found their second wind. Paul Pierce has been a model of consistency, and Joe Johnson has shown up in big games as he tries to make good on his bizarre All-Star selection. Andray Blatche has been great leading the second unit, and players such as Mason Plumlee, Alan Anderson, Shaun Livingston ad Andrei Kirilenko have made believers out of doubters concerning their place on this team.
Marcus Thornton has provided a heavy dose of offense coming off the bench since being acquired in a trade with the Sacramento Kings during the trade deadline. The same fans that wanted Jason Kidd fired three months ago now sing his praises as he has turned the Nets’ season and his career around with a decision to go with a smaller lineup. Kevin Garnett has missed the last couple of games due to back problems, but the team has not missed a beat. It’s good that he can sit out and get some rest so he’s ready to go once the playoffs begin.
No matter who they face in the first round, the Nets are sure to be a tough out for anybody.