Dropping Dimes Again A Priority For D-Will

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HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – Trivia time: Which point guard, Jason Kidd or Deron Williams, has finished more seasons with a double-digit assist average?

Answer: It’s not the NBA’s No. 2 all-time assists leader. Kidd finished his 19-year career with three (1999, 2000 and ’08). Williams, after eight seasons, already has four, all of which came from 2008-11. Kidd, now Williams’ coach with the Brooklyn Nets, wants to make it five.

“I’m going to push him. I want the best for him,” Kidd told the New York Daily News on Sunday after signing autographs at the Nets’ merchandise store in Coney Island. “When we sit down and talk about goals, team goals and also individual goals, I’m going to push him and I want to get him back to double-digit assists.”

Williams’ pace faltered the last two seasons with various impediments to blame, from former coach Avery Johnson‘s isolation-heavy offense (ask Kidd, who played under Johnson in Dallas, about that) to the extra weight and injury woes the three-time All-Star carried into last season. The Nets extracted Johnson from the equation early on last season, and Williams managed to get healthy and shed some pounds during his free time over All-Star weekend. He was a far more productive player in the second half of the season.

The powerful, 6-foot-3, 209-pound Williams averaged 7.7 apg last season, his lowest mark since his rookie year. That came after averaging 8.7 apg in his first full season (albeit a lockout-shortened one) with the Nets.

But the Nets of the last two seasons are hardly the ones Williams, 29, will lead into a 2013-14 campaign full of lofty expectations. An roster-wide talent upgrade should naturally increase Williams’ assist total, perhaps even allowing him to rival 2008-09 when he averaged 10.7 apg and finished second in the league behind Chris Paul (11.0). Since then, D-Will has steadily moved down the ladder when ranking the top playmakers at point guard.

The blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics that delivered Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry (coupled with the free-agent acquisition of Andrei Kirilenko), significantly enhances the Williams’ scoring options and should dramatically increase the team’s 3-point shooting.

The Nets ranked 17th in scoring (96.9 ppg), 13th in overall shooting percentage (45.0 percent) and 17th in 3-point shooting (35.7 percent). Brooklyn’s starting forwards consisted of a declining Gerald Wallace (39.7 field-goal percentage, 28.2 percent from 3-point range) and garbage man Reggie Evans (47.9 percent but on just 3.3 shot attempts per game). Kris Humphries, who started 21 games, shot 44.8 percent from the floor.

Evans can now move to a more sensible role off the bench. Wallace and Humphries are replaced by Pierce, who shot just 43.6 percent from the field last season but a solid 38.0 percent from 3-point range, and Garnett, who hit roughly half of his shot attempts last season (49.6 percent). Add those two to shooting guard Joe Johnson (37.5 percent from beyond the arc) and the offensively gifted 7-footer Brook Lopez (52.1 percent), and Williams should be operating in the halfcourt with a well-spaced floor. It should make double-teaming by opposing defenses both difficult and dangerous.

Terry didn’t have an inspiring first season with the Celtics after a prosperous career in Dallas, but he make 37.2 percent of his 3-pointers, right at his career average (37.9 percent). Kirilenko, a crafty worker without the ball, shot 50.7 percent last season with Minnesota.

Kidd, who fashioned 11 seasons averaging at least 9.0 apg, is promising an up-tempo offense that should benefit Williams’ game. And now with more scorers as targets for Williams, who is on pace to join the 10,000 assist club ( John Stockton, Kidd, Mark Jackson, Steve Nash and Magic Johnson) if he plays another eight seasons, the opportunity is there for him to get back to being a double-digit dime machine.

Incoming scorers
(from 2012-13)
Outgoing scorers
(from 2012-13)
Player PPG FG% 3pt FG%
Player PPG FG% 3pt FG%
Paul Pierce 18.6 43.6 38.0 Gerald Wallace 7.7 39.7 28.2
Kevin Garnett 14.8 49.6 12.5 Kris Humphries 5.8 44.8 0
Jason Terry 10.1 43.4 37.2 Keith Bogans 4.2 38.0 34.3
Andrei Kirilenko 12.4 50.7 29.2 Jerry Stackhouse 4.9 38.4 33.7
Shaun Livingston 6.3 48.0 0 MarShon Brooks 5.4 46.3 27.3

46 Comments

  1. #1KobeH8R says:

    … or KOBE

  2. #1KobeH8R says:

    Brooklyn needs the ANSWER…!!!!

  3. #1KobeH8R says:

    You can’t win a championship in an 82-game season with a combo-guard unless you have Shaq O’Neal. Unless you’re KOBE
    You can’t win a championship in an 82-game season with a point-forward unless you have Ray Allen.. Unless you’re KOBE
    Anything is possible in a shortened season full of promises, after a long lock-out full of distractions..!! Ask KOBE..!!!

  4. ia8711 says:

    PJ Carlesimo and his idiotic isolation heavy offense was disastrous for the Nets and DWill last season. Nets finished last in fastbreak points and offensive pace. Reggie Evans starting and playing 30+ minutes was an absolute TRAGEDY!! Evans was completely left alone on the offensive end and the Nets were constantly playing 4 on 5. Idiot PJ Carlesimo by starting and playing Reggie Evans 30+ minutes held the Nets potential back severely. Blatche was severely underplayed. DWill excels in an uptempo offense which is why i am so excited fro the Nets next season. DWill can easily average 22+ ppg. Nets will win the championship next season!!

  5. ia8711 says:

    Avery Johnson’s and PJ Carlesimo severely held back DWill and the Nets full potential last season with their idiotic offense. Netsfinished last in fastbreak points and offensive pace. Wallace is a hustle/fastbreak player which is why he wasnt as effective last season. And starting and playing Reggie Evans 30+ minutes was an ABSOLUTE TRAGEDY, and Nets offense suffered tremendously. Blatche was severely underplayed. DWill can easily average 22+ ppg. I am so excited for this Nets team Running and pushing the ball, led by DWill, who will return to top 3 PG and have an MVP type season. I expect a championship for the Nets.

    • Akeem says:

      I hear you brotha!!! Can’t WAIT to see this unfold!! PP and JJ on the wings, KG and Lopez setting screens for each other and for D-Will. the rolls, the kick-outs….have fun…. every body…..except ..Nets haters……sorry !!!

  6. loco says:

    let`s see: no doubt that kidd will be an awesome coach, but still he is a rook. kgs numbers are going down every year. still a great defender, but not a monster anymore. paul pierce will live and die with his shot. lbj and paul george will crush him everytime they meet.brook lopez is one of the best postscorers in the league and blocks a couple of shots. maybe he is their best player. dwill…..i hope coach and him can handle his ego. remember he was a big reason jerry sloan quitted. jj should change his game a bit. no more isojoe. let dwill make plays and wait for the open jumper. crunchtime will be yours. all together i think defense and rebounds will be their biggest issues. everything is possible. in their ages, injuries could become a problem as well. maybe if everything works as they expect, they could be the one seeded. if not they could even drop to 6,7,8. in playoffs i see heat, pacers and bulls ahead of them

  7. Unkle Daddy says:

    I hope it works because an uptempo style with an old starting 2,3 and 4 probably won’t work vis-à-vis the 2012-13 Lakers. You need a good point guard and a lot of young legs, like the Kidd era Nets. RJ and KMart could finish.

  8. Kamote says:

    Unlike last year, the Nets’ off season moves is definitely something to look out for:

    Kidd – Though we don’t know his X and Os yet, we can’t deny his leadership and how he makes his team better. He once led his undermanned Nets to 2 consecutive finals (yes, having KMart and Jefferson as your scorers is an undermanned team). If the Boston boys (who’ve thrown out their egos years ago) back him up, then NJ will have a brand new identity that would definitely make the East teams watch out for them

    KG – He can clearly do positive things regarding Blatche’s head, AK47’s heart and Lopez’s toughness. Heck, he can do a lot of things for the Nets locker room even if he played in limited minutes and just save his body for the playoffs

    Pierce – Allen’s loss and Rondo’s injury pushed Pierce to carry Boston’s shooting, scoring and offensive flow last year. Being teamed up w/ JJ, DWill and Lopez can now ease his burden and save up for crunch time

    AK – His one year off might’ve helped him as he was the only positive thing (along w/ Pek) for Minny last year due to the loss of Love, Roy and Rubio. Still has that swiss-knife smoothness that would surely help New Jersey in lot of ways

    Livingston – Once dubbed as LAL’s “next big thing” until his injury, he still shows flashes of what he could’ve been. Sharing time with DWill and Terry, these flashes may be the only thing the Nets need from him

    They may not rank as high as the Heat, Bulls, Pacers or Knicks… but this the team that they would want to avoid early in the playoffs.

  9. nets says:

    PG:D-Will
    SG:Terry
    SF:Joe
    PF:Pierce
    C:KG

    should be the best line-up…the problem is D-will, Joe and Pierce all like to handle the ball

  10. LB6 says:

    CORRECTION… THE 3 POINT SHOOTING OF THE OUTGOING SCORERS ARE HIGHER (24.7%) WHILE THE 3 POINT SHOOTING OF THE INCOMING SCORERS (23.38%) SO D-WILL HAD BETTER 3 POINT SHOOTERS TO STRETCH THE FLOOR.

  11. Kedde says:

    Pierce and Garnett lost their heart when they left boston

  12. L.A. says:

    1.) Chris Paul
    2.)Derek Rose
    3.)Tony Parker
    4.)Rajon Rondo
    5.)Russel WestBrook

    I think D-Will is top 10, but I can’t put him over any of these guys

    • Ptown4Ever says:

      I love how you spelled Derrick wrong, spelled Russell wrong, turned Westbrook into two last names, but got Rajon correct. Awesome.

      Deron Williams gained a lot of hype after his one great year in Utah, and everyone was talking about him in the best PG in the league conversation. Stats, and figure don’t lie, he has regressed since then. Maybe not even regressed, but he didn’t improve at the elite level other PGs did/have done in the last several years. Granted, yes, he was a little beat up. Even then though, He’s 7th, maybe even 8th. I know I’m biased, but if they were the same age, I’d take Lillard all day over D-Will.

  13. rhea says:

    Who is the best pg in the game today? Paul, Westbrook, rose, Williams, rondo? Who is it? My vote goes to Paul as the most complete who gets yours?

  14. carter1711 says:

    Love all the speculation and argument! Nets are finally being talked about seriously!
    Definite playoff team here, and better on paper than they were last season. Logically, that would mean they’ll improve upon last season, though I think we all know how fickle the game of basketball can be in that respect. The best way of looking at the Nets now is to say that they swapped Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (and that’s a BIG improvement regardless of age).
    What I’m most concerned about for them now is the lack of future potential after losing MarShon Brooks and a few of their future draft picks, but if they can pull a championship out of the hat while the current team stays intact then I guess they made the right move.
    Go Nets!

    • Akeem says:

      Definetly the right move. I wouldn’t worry about draft picks. THAT is very fickle. the owner is establishing a franchise
      such that free agents will WANT to come. It is New York after all. Kyre Erving and others might want to take their
      talents to Broolyn one day.

  15. J says:

    I reckon he’ll get atleast 10.6 per game

  16. Jaamnoo says:

    The season hasnt even started and everyone already can predict the future… LOL
    Calm down, take a deep breath and wait until a couple of months. A lot can happen to a team.

  17. Shawn Kemp No. 1 says:

    They’re gonna tank

  18. Lakers-Warriors-Suns says:

    They won’t win…. Unfortunately. Unless PP and KG play their hearts out.

    • Pakyaw says:

      If we gonna live on the past, nets will be champion just like lakers last season .some people here still livin on the past… Tsk.tsk.tsk..

  19. Mikala says:

    Nets are old, their only guy who can play good defence is Garnet who is close to 40….and D-will gets way too inconistent in playoff time.

  20. CelticsGuy says:

    @Adri, I believe Kidd played under Johnson his first year in Dallas. I do remember distinctly a last game play with the game on the line, and Johnson subbed out the newly acquired Kidd who was still very incredible at the time because Johnson said that he went with who he felt was his best player to win the game (totally forgot who the guard inserted was). Sure enough, they did lose that game, and although the blame was not entirely on Johnson’s action to take Kidd out, he took a lot of heat for it especially as seeing how they brought in Kidd to close games out, not to sit on the bench.

  21. lol says:

    Nets are old, their only guy who can play good defence is Garnet who is close to 40….and D-will gets way too inconsistent in playoff time.

    • Chris says:

      Just becuase you’re old doesn’t man you can’t win games.

    • Akeem says:

      Last playoffs, when Deng was abusing Wallace on back to back possessions, they put JJ on him and Deng was immediately shut down. They immediately went to Boozer, who abused the 4. JJ’s defense is underestimated, AK47, nor a healthy D-Will can’t play D’fense? Brook Lopez’s Blocks don’t count?…Reggie Evans??……

      What NBA are YOU watching ???

  22. Adri says:

    Wait it says kidd played under avery johnson in dallas.. Correct me if I’m wrong but Kidd played under Carlisle right? not johnson. Johnson was already fired.

    • Bigmatta23 says:

      Yes…you are wrong. Kidd played the last 29 games of the 07/08 season after being traded from New Jersey. Johnson was at the helm of the Mavs

  23. Akeem says:

    Can’t wait for this to get started. D-Will looked much healthier the 2nd half of last season. Rondo would LOVE running this team. D-Will should do quite well. Much is made of the aging ex-Celtics coming over, but PP did go 18-6-5 last year. Life should be easy for everyone on this roster, because there is plenty of quality help off the bench. PP and KG won’t need to play 30 min every night. They can do the Greg Pop’ sit out later in the season. Wish it were November already. They seriously could win it all.

    • b52slugger says:

      “They seriously could win it all.”

      SERIOUSLY?

      • Akeem says:

        YES! The Pacers took The Championship Heat to 7 games. The Nets SWEPT those same Pacers. The Nets improved beyond the Pacers……soooooooo……simple logic.

      • ?????? says:

        simple logic?

        so paper (nets) beats rock (pacers), and rock almost beats scissors (heat), so paper beats scissors?

        also, your pacer-nets series was regular season. the heat swept the nets, i believe, and the pacers won the majority of the games against the heat in the regular season.

        simple logic? me thinks not.

      • Akeem says:

        Good points on the reg season vs playoffs, but I still see Bkln as the better team over the Pacers. The Nets guards are better, Brook gets the slight edge over Hibbert, the forwards may be about even, only because of age. Bkln has the deeper and better bench. Indiana matches up well with the Heat, that’s why they looked so good. With Lopez and KG at the rim, life will be tougher for Indiana, or anyone else. Oh, add AK47 to the equation. Nice…..

  24. I Know everything about Hoops says:

    Yes Dwill is still a top 5 PG

    • artifex says:

      So, the other 4 would be?
      CP3, Rose, Rondo, Westbrook, Parker, Curry,
      oh, thats already 6.
      Sure, you can discuss the ranking but I feel difficult to put DWill atop of 2 of them AT THE MOMENT.
      But as said, coming back from injury he can improve.
      Right now, I see him in the 2nd half of top10 with Holiday, Teague and Rubio.

      • Cavs Fan says:

        I don’t know if you forgot about him, but I believe that Kyrie deserves to be top 5 pg, if not then top 10 for sure. D-Will didn’t even get into All-Star, but Kyrie did.

  25. Juggernaut584 says:

    I don’t know how J.Kidd is going to run an uptempo offense with such a “seasoned” roster, but right now he sounds like Mike D’antoni saying that the Lakers were gonna run, run, run, and easily avg 115 pts a game last season. Their starting front line of KG Pierce and Lopez is not gonna win too many foot races, and even Joe Johnson is not the most fleet of foot at his position. I can see them running opportunistically, but outside of KG and AK47, I don’t know if they even have anyone else on the roster who can force some turnovers. I watched Rondo on one man fast breaks for the past few years in Boston, and Pierce and KG were obviously not as long in the tooth as they are now. I do anticipate them being rejuvenated with their new team; however, that rejuvenation won’t last for 82 games. This team is playoff made, and that’s where their true measure of success/failure will lie. D.Will could probably get back to double digits in apg, but I don’t see the uptempo offense that J.Kidd ran during his prime years being run in Brooklyn anytime soon.

    • Akeem says:

      “uptempo”, not track meet. If you are an NBA player, you are more than mobile enough to participate in an “uptempo” offense.

  26. James Williams says:

    From looking at the stats comparing players who left the Nets the off season of 2012/13 and the players who now plays for the team for 2013/14 I believe we can make a powerful movement into a championship now we just have to believe and have great sportsmanship

    • slider821 says:

      from reading the article, it sounds like they won’t be playing uptempo ball but rather a half court offense designed around spacing for lopez double team to kick out to shooters.

      either way, nothing can be predicted about this team yet given their age. Though I’m sure on of their goals is to have a better record than last year and make it at least one round deeper in the playoffs than last year. should be a fun team to watch.