Playing against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, you need your best players to perform as they are capable of, and get help from unexpected places. The Brooklyn Nets are getting the necessary help from the supporting cast, but their supposed best player Deron Williams has not shown up, and it is what will ultimately spell the end of the Nets’ season.
Williams was brought in to be the face of the franchise when the Nets traded for him from the Utah Jazz after their attempts to land Carmelo Anthony were unsuccessful. At the time Williams was in the argument as the top point guard in the NBA with Chris Paul; now it can be argued at times he is not even the best point guard on the court for his team.
Williams’ struggles have been injury driven more than anything, but he has fallen well short of the expectations the Nets had for him when they brought him on board and signed him to a max five-year, $98.7 million contract.
When you are given that kind of money, you are expected to lead your team when they need you most. Williams has done the exact opposite more often than not, including Game 2 against the Heat Thursday night when he gave them zero points, missing all nine of his shot attempts.
His stats have actually decreased this postseason from the regular season, even though he has received more playing time. The only stat he has increased is his scoring, but it is misleading because his shooting percentage has actually dropped as well.
With Williams taking a step back, the Nets getting taken out of the playoffs by the Heat with ease is almost a certainty. The amount of money the Nets have poured into the team to surround Williams with talent has gone for naught with Williams not being able to live up to the expectations. At this point, it would not be surprising to see the Nets get swept even though they swept the Heat during the regular season, further proving the postseason to be a totally different monster than the regular season.
While the Heat Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh step up when they are needed most, Williams has floundered, making for what will be another disappointing end to a Nets’ season.