Vintage D-Will Against Minnesota on Wednesday

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Wednesday night’s loss may have been a tough pill to swallow for the Brooklyn Nets’ faithful but they can take solace in the fact that Deron Williams is playing at an All-Star level once again.

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Williams added to his early season success Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a series of highlight plays. Even after just a 2-2 start for the Nets, it has become evident that Williams has regained his groove. From the opening tip, Williams was able to control the offense at an up-tempo pace while distributing the ball with ease.

His ankles looked very healthy as he changed speeds and crossed up his defenders effectively the entire night.

After falling behind 17-2 early, he navigated Brooklyn to even the score by the end of the quarter and keep them in the game. For the rest of the night, Williams optimized his re-established quickness to get to the basket and penetrate the Wolves’ defense to free up his teammates. His final numbers didn’t jump off the page with 19 points and 6 assists but his overall contributions were the main reason for Brooklyn’s ability to hang around after an early deficit. Hollins is confident that a healthy Williams will be able to guide this team to continued success this season and stresses that the main x-factor is for his point guard to stay healthy. However, in the fourth quarter Williams cooled off from his torrid pace to go 1-for-7 from the field to end the game. It should be noted that he was holding his right wrist at times during the final minutes.

When D-Will is playing at this level, the difference in the Nets offense is night and day. He remains one of the best passers in the NBA, but when Williams is at full strength he’s able to impose his will on defenders to attack the rim and draw double-teams. So far this season, Brooklyn is 5th in offensive efficiency and 13th in pace (number of possessions per game) according to ESPN’s John Hollinger. The addition of Lionel Hollins certainly has accredited to the early successes but it is D-Will that’s running the show, night in and night out.

After battling back from numerous injuries, it would appear that D-Will’s ankles are vastly healed and you can faintly hear Nets fans breathe a collective sigh of relief. Friday night, he’ll face a Knicks squad that is decimated by injuries at the point guard position after a recent injury to Pablo Prigioni. Dropping a tough matchup Wednesday, expect Williams to be energized once again for the rivalry game on Friday.

Go Nets.