Jason Kidd and Deron Williams both know what it’s like to play for Avery Johnson, and they both understand how it feels to not be fully comfortable playing for him. Earlier this week, Williams said he has not been the same player since joining the Brooklyn Nets and that he was far more comfortable in Jerry Sloan’s system with the Utah Jazz. Kidd, who had some disagreements with Johnson when he was with the Dallas Mavericks, said the offensive system isn’t the issue.
Simply put, Kidd feels that Williams has not been an effective enough shooter.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the coach,” Kidd said Thursday according to the NY Daily News. “I think it’s just a matter of getting comfortable making shots. Also, he has new teammates. He’s got to get used to a new crew. It’s always a growing period.
“He’s a grownup. He’ll figure it out. All things don’t go well right away sometimes. He’s just going through a struggle shooting the ball, but he’s one of the best at what he does, so he’ll work through it.”
A look at the numbers would tell you Kidd is right, and Deron has admitted several times that he has not shot well enough. Williams shot 43.9% from the field last season — the lowest since his rookie year — and is down to 39.6% so far this season. He’s hitting only 29.4% of his shots from beyond the arc, which is a career low.
Williams’ struggles have likely been caused by a combination of things, but his poor shooting is certainly what sticks out the most. A player who simply isn’t knocking down shots isn’t going to be comfortable in any system.