This offseason is already kicking off much like it did last year for Deron Williams. While participating in the 2012 Olympics, he sustained an injury to his left ankle that bugged him for the ensuing season. Williams was noticeably affected on the court with many questioning if he was still an All-Star caliber point guard. With 40 days until the 2013-14 season opener, his luck hasn’t improved much. Now it’s his right ankle that’s the culprit.
The word on the hardwood is that malady isn’t very serious. Nets training camp starts October 1, and a spokesman has made it clear that D-Will will be ready for it. At the moment, though, he’s in a walking boot.
The Net’s point guard suffered the injury while getting into form in Utah. There’s some poetic justice there as Williams broke the hearts of Utah fans when he made his way out east. This is speculation but perhaps he hurt himself after vowing to have a more rigorous offseason following last year’s claims by USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo that Williams got injured then because he was considerably out of shape. There’s a possibility that the opposite has happened: that Williams pushed himself too hard.
As some XN readers might remember, it took Deron Williams until after the All-Star break to shape up into form. Pre All-Star, these were his season numbers: 16.7 PPG, 7.6 APG, 3.3 RPG, 0.9 STLPG, 41.3 FG%, 34.7 3FG%, and 85.5 FT%. Post All-Star was a different tale: 22.9 PPG, 8.0 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1.1 STLPG, 48.1 FG%, 42.0 3FG%, and 86.6 FT%. Health can be quite the comeback kid.
Nets coach and legend Jason Kidd has made it be known that their offense will be Deron Williams-orchestrated; he wants the point guard to be a purer point, expecting his assists numbers to go up. (Having a starting lineup of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson helps a tad too). As the Bulls-Nets playoffs matchup showed, Williams needs unchecked mobility to play his best. When Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler started shrinking the floor for him, the Nets’ offense shrank proportionately. An ankle injury to Williams, as last season showed, can ultimately be an opposing team’s best defense against him and Brooklyn.