D-Will Returns As Nets Win Third Straight

By | 2017-11-25T03:43:27+00:00 December 26th, 2014|Categories: DeronWilliams.com, News|Tags: , |2 Comments

Deron Williams made his return to the court on Friday afternoon in Boston and the Brooklyn Nets continued to roll with a thrilling 109-107 victory over the Celtics.

After missing two games with a calf strain, D-Will came off the bench in Friday’s win and was effective in his limited action. He played just a shade under 21 minutes and tallied eight points on 2-of-6 shooting. He also pitched in four rebounds and four assists to the winning effort.

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics

As he works his way back into the lineup after a week away, Nets coach opted Lionel Hollins to bring D-Will off the bench for just the seventh time since his rookie year. The other six occasions all came last season, when Deron was making his way back from an ankle injury, so No. 8 isn’t a stranger to playing a reserve role with the Nets.

“The first group is going well together right now, so there’s no reason to change anything up,” Deron said after the game. “I’m all for the team. It doesn’t really matter to me. I’m still trying to get my rhythm back and obviously I’m on a minutes restriction right now, so I’m all for it.”

Jarrett Jack got the start in his stead and held down the point guard spot with an excellent performance, including a game-high 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

“We’ve been coming together this past month,” Jack said of Brooklyn’s three-game win streak. We’ll just keep trying to build on this positive atmosphere that we’re creating and just try to ride this wave as long as we can.”

D-Will entered the game for the first time with six seconds left in the opening quarter and the Nets down four. But moments later, Jack splashed a three to make it a one-point game after one. 

Early in the second, Deron showed no ill effects from his injury as he drove to the basket with burst and drew two shooting fouls in the first two minutes of the quarter. He sank 3-of-4 free throw attempts, helping the Nets stay within striking distance of the lead.

Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics

As the quarter went on, No. 8 began to get more comfortable and was soon finding teammates with pinpoint passes to push Brooklyn ahead. His feed to Mirza Teletovic on the drive for a finger roll pulled the Nets within one and moments later off a Boston turnover, he led a fastbreak to the rim, where when he found Mason Plumlee with a no look pass for a layup that put Brooklyn in front 41-40.

Shortly thereafter, at the end of a long stretch on the floor, D-Will checked out of the game with 3:13 left in the half and the Nets in front by four. At halftime, the score was knotted at 56-56.

However, Boston came out red-hot in the third quarter and put Brooklyn back behind quickly. By the time Deron returned to the floor with 5:22 left in the third, the Nets were behind by 11. 

D-Will did his best to help the Brooklyn offense close the quarter strong and with a minute left in the frame and the Nets down by 12, their biggest margin of the night, he found Teletovic for a three to cut the deficit to nine. Then, after a miss by Boston on the other end, No.8 got the rebound and brought the Nets back up the court with 17.8 seconds left in the third, No. 8 knocked down a buzzer-beating fadeaway jumper to make it a seven-point game going to the fourth.

After closing out the third, D-Will played the first seven minutes of the final frame and helped Brooklyn pull within striking distance of the lead.

Brooklyn Nets v Boston CelticsEarly in the fourth, Boston extended the lead back to double digits on multiple occasions, but each time, Deron and the Nets reserves had an answer. First it was No. 8 with another trip to the line, where he made 1-of-2 and cut the deficit to nine. Then, after a layup by Brandon Bass, D-Will answered with one of his own on a finger roll after an explosive drive to the rack, a good sign for the recovering point guard late in the game.

“I felt pretty good considering I haven’t done much in the last couple days,” he said afterward.

Later in the frame with the Nets still down nine, D-Will found a cutting Alan Anderson for a layup to make it a seven-point game. On the other end, Brooklyn got a stop and Deron snatched the rebound. From there, he pushed the ball ahead in transition and the possession ended with a trey by Anderson to make 97-93.

It was 99-95 when D-Will gave way to Jack with 5:11 left in the game and the transition was seamless as, less than a minute later Jack knocked down a jumper to tie the game at 99-99.

Boston pulled ahead by three with two minutes left on a trey by Sullinger, but Anderson answered with a triple of his own to tie it at 104. Then, with under a minute to go, Jack took the game into his hands as he grabbed the rebound off a Celtics miss, dribbled upcourt, got to a spot at the free throw line and drilled a jumper to give the Nets a 106-104 lead. 

He later made a pair of free throws to put Brooklyn in front by four with 5.4 seconds left, but after Avery Bradley made a three to make it a one-point game, Joe Johnson made just one of two from the line. This left Boston with a chance to tie or win with 1.8 second left, but despite a perfect pass the length of the court by Gerald Wallace, Sullinger missed a baseline fadeaway at the buzzer, allowing the Nets to hold on for their third straight victory. 

“I saw a lot of heart, tenacity and perseverance,” Hollins said. “We just kept battling. We made big shots, but we also played good defense and we rebounded the ball very well.”


The Nets (12-15) will finish off a back-to-back at home on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers (10-19) at the Barclays Center. The game will mark the first of three between the two teams this season.

Deron is expected to remain on a minutes restriction for that game and may once again come off the bench in a reserve role. 

Tip-off from Brooklyn is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on YES Network.



  1. Karl December 30, 2014 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Deron (or Deron’s Staff),

    My comment is about Deron’s willingness to buy into the ‘share the ball’ philosophy. This is a philosophy that I, like Deron, agree with – in principle. In reality, it will get you a one-way ticket to the bench.

    What I mean is, Coaches and teammates always like to say, “We have to share the ball. We need to have a team effort. It doesn’t matter who scores, as long as we win, etc.” I have been on a lot of basketball teams, and they always say the same thing. When it comes down to it, however, they are much happier (and respect you more) when you go out there and put the ball in the basket.

    It’s true that team basketball is a great way to play. Everybody is involved; nobody feels ‘left out’; more player’s skillsets are developed; etc. The problem is, that, most of the time (including this current one that Deron is involved in), the “share the ball” concept is a fallacy. A ‘smoke screen’.

    The Coach says “Pass the ball”; but in reality, he’s more happy when you SHOOT the ball. Management and staff says, “We want a good Point Guard who’s unselfish; puts the team before himself; gives up his shots to others; blah blah blah”. So, Deron goes out there and does just that. He passes, passes, passes and passes some more. Then, his backup Point Guard comes in and shoots, shoots, shoots and shoots some more. What happens? Deron gets benched and the sub takes his spot.

    My point is, Deron needs to realize that regardless of what these people say about passing, they want him to SCORE. It doesn’t matter how much they say, “share the ball”, they want him to put POINTS on the board. Deron goes out there and gets 7 assists (which is A LOT), and they hardly notice it. They ignore the fact that those 7 assists means 14 – 21 generated points. They then look at Jarrett Jack’s stats, and see that he scored 15 or 16 points, and say, “I like that Jack, he’s a great ball player. He’s really helping us win”.

    Deron needs to put the ‘team concept’ thing on ‘hold’ for awhile. He needs to show these people who Deron Williams really is. He needs to start lighting up the scoreboard like he’s capable of. That’s what they really want.

    Deron has smooth, quick moves to the basket; an excellent mid-range jumpshot; and is a deadly 3-pt shooter from long range. He’s the total package both offensively and Point Guard wise. That’s why they pay him the big bucks. Not just because he’s a great Point Guard, but because he’s a great Point Guard who can go on a scoring tear at a moments notice.

    Deron needs to take a look at the videos of his old games. In those games, he SHOT THE BALL as much as he passed the ball. Deron needs to ‘remind himself’ of how excellent he is at scoring. I think Deron is a good person, with a good heart, who is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of the team; but, I think in this case, it’s a mistake.

    If he keeps falling for that ‘share the ball’ junk, he’s going to find himself GLUED to the bench – whether it’s here, or, on some other teams’ bench.

    P.S. : Could you please show this comment to Deron? I think it might help ‘open his eyes’. Thank you, and Have a Happy New Year!

  2. Karl January 1, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Deron plays the point like few PGs in the league. He has sound fundamentals and great instincts. He instinctively makes the right decisions with the ball far more often than most PGs I’ve seen. He sees the floor; knows exactly where everybody is; and runs the offense smooth as silk. He also knows how to light up the scoreboard – which brings me to a complaint.

    Deron needs to take MORE shots. That’s one thing that Jack is doing, that Deron has slacked off from. Jack is taking a boatload of shots. And as much as Hollins says he wants everybody to share the ball, he likes it when Jacks scores. Hollins, like any other coach, is watching Jack ‘jack up the shots’, and is saying to himself, “No you idiot! Don’t shoot that!” but when it goes in, he’s saying, “Good shot Jarret!”

    Deron needs to start hoisting them up as well. I think Deron is the type of player who believes that he’s hurting the team if he’s in a shooting slump. He rather stop shooting, rather than take the chance of missing the next shot. He needs to stop thinking like that. The only way to get out of a shooting slump is to KEEP SHOOTING.

    I have played a LOT of basketball in my life and have been on a LOT of teams. I, like anybody else, have gone through many, many shooting slumps. Eveybody does. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s part of the game. I learned that the best, and maybe the ONLY way, to break out of a shooting slump, is to simply keep shooting. Before you know it, you start hitting your shots again. It’s as simple as that.

    If you put it in your mind that you’re going miss if you shoot, then you WILL miss. You, yourself are PUTTING IT IN YOUR MIND that you’re going to miss. You can’t be scared to shoot. When you do that, you instill a subconscious message of DOUBT in your miind.

    Instead, you need to instill a subconscious message of SUPREME CONFIDENCE. You do this by simply KNOWING that you have the ability to make shots. You have to KNOW for a fact, that sooner or later, your shot is going to go in – which is actually TRUE. Sooner or later, your shot WILL go in. That’s just a fact.

    So, if you’re in a slump, you need to just continue shooting – no matter how many times you miss – until you start hitting them again. After you start hitting your shot again, CONTINUE TO SHOOT. Before you know it, the ‘slump’ is over, and you’re back in the zone.

    You also can’t be worrying about what other people are thinking about you missing. Forget about them. As soon as you hit one, they immediately forget about the last ten shots that you just missed.

    Another thing, don’t worry about if the Coach is going to be angry if you miss 9 or 10 shots. By the next game, he will have forgotten all about it. If he wants to yell or get upset, let him. Just take it like a man, and tell him something like, “Yeah, Coach Hollins, I know what you mean. But, every shot I took out there felt good. They really felt like they were going in. If I didn’t think they were going in, I wouldn’t have shot them. To be honest, If I had it to over again, I would take the shot again Coach. That’s how good the shots felt. Sometimes they drop, sometimes they don’t.”

    Just tell him something like that and let him ‘rant and rave’ if he wants to. He’ll get over it, and like I said, he will forget all about the missed shots by the time the next game rolls around. In reality, he WANTS you to shoot. He just gets mad because they didn’t go in. So, make it or miss it, keep shooting every chance you get.

    Deron, of course, should continue passing and running the offense, but he should definitely make shooting his top priority.

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