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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Deron Williams says he hasn’t been the same player since leaving the Jazz

Deron Williams has played in 90 games since joining the Brooklyn Nets in February of 2011, but he says he still isn’t totally settled in. For starters, he has been dealing with nagging injuries since the Utah Jazz shipped him across the country. In addition, Williams says he is not nearly as comfortable in Brooklyn’s offense as he was in Utah’s.

“I’ve really had injuries I’ve been dealing with the whole time,” Williams said Monday according to the NY Daily News. “I didn’t have the talent around me I did there. Their system was a great system for my style of play. I am a system player. I loved coach (Jerry) Sloan’s system there, I loved the offense there.”

Williams averaged 21 points per game last season with the Nets — the second-highest total of his career. However, his assist numbers have been just over 8.0 per game whereas they were consistently around 10.0 per game in Utah. He indicated the problem he has had adjusting could be due to the fact that Avery Johnson’s offense is less structured than he’s used to.

“I grew up in high school, my coach wasn’t one of those guys who would just throw out the ball and let us play,” Williams said. “We were a system team. We had a staple of plays that we relied on. We were good at execution. In college (at Illinois), we ran the motion offense. A lot of cutting, a lot passing, a lot of screening, a lot of extra passes. I’m used to just movement. So I’m still trying to adjust. It’s been an adjustment for me.”

Deron is only 28 years old and recently signed a five-year extension with Brooklyn, so he has plenty of time to find his comfort zone. But he knows big things are expected of the Nets in a new city, new arena and with new superstars like Joe Johnson. Williams is expected to be the glue that holds the whole thing together, so it would be in his best interest to learn quickly.

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