For much of this season, the idea of dunking wasn’t even a consideration for Deron Williams. Playing with a pair of seemingly perpetually sprained ankles, Williams was having trouble staying on the court, let alone dunking over defenders. But that finally changed midway through the fourth quarter of Monday’s 108-95 win, when he rose up over Suns guard Ish Smith. Or did it? “Well, we’re trying to debate if that was a dunk,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said with a smile afterwards. “You have to ask him if that was a dunk. … I have to go back and look at the tape.” When informed of Kidd’s comments, Williams shook his head in mock disgust. “[Your] coach is supposed to have your back,” he said with a smile. Then he added, with a heavy dose of sarcasm, “He’s supposed to say something like, ‘I’m proud of him. That’s a monumental moment.’ … something. And [Kidd] was never a dunker in his day.” Everyone was all smiles after the win, and not just because the Nets (34-31) had just wrapped their ninth straight home win, and improved to 8-2 in their last 10 games. It was because the team’s franchise point guard, the player Kidd said when he took the job last summer would be the engine that drives his team forward, is finally beginning to look like that kind of player again. In many ways, Monday night’s performance for Williams — who finished with 28 points on 11-for-13 shooting to go along with four assists — was just the latest sign his second season in Brooklyn is beginning to look eerily similar to the first. Like last year, Williams spent the first half of the season battling ankle issues, eventually missing a few games in order to get a round of platelet rich plasma treatment and cortisone shots in both ankles. And, like last season, it appears the treatment has been a success, as Williams has regained the explosiveness and confidence he seemed to lack during his injury-filled first half of the year. That was on display repeatedly against the Suns (38-29) as he went up against one of the league’s more explosive backcourts in Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe and had his way against them. He broke off several devastating crossovers that left one defender after another in his wake. Williams looked as explosive as he has all season.
Deron leads Nets to 108-95 win over Suns
New York Post | Mar 18