Nets’ Deron Williams eying better Game 3 performance

Deron Williams and the Nets blew by the Bulls in Game 1 of their first round series Saturday. (Getty Images)
Deron Williams and the Nets blew by the Bulls in Game 1 of their first-round series Saturday. It was a different story in Game 2.
Credit: Getty Images

Deron Williams has participated in 630 regular season and postseason games since entering the NBA in 2005. Like any other prominent player, he has experienced poor shooting nights but none as poor in a big spot as Game 2.

Williams was 1-for-9 from the field while going against a variety of defenders, including Kirk Hinrich whom he often eluded in Game 1. The one previous time he struggled in a playoff game was when he was in foul trouble and went 1-for-11 in Game 5 of the 2007 Western Conference semifinals against Golden State. But Derek Fisher and others stepped up in a 13-point win that night.

Nobody stepped up Monday due to a combination of poor execution and a lack of adjustments to Chicago’s defense.

After an ugly performance evened the series, Williams promised to be better and a day later, interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo backed up his point guard.

“I think he’ll bounce back because he’s an excellent player,” Carlesimo said on a conference call. “He’s been on a great run. They did a good job of getting people to him an awful lot of the time and when he penetrated, they did a good job contesting his shots.

“He wasn’t able to finish at the rim effectively but a lot of it was that he took a couple of threes late too. It is what it is too and Deron, he missed shots, he had an off game [and] he’s got to play better. He’s going to be fine.”

Before Monday, the last time Williams was held to one field goal was a 1-for-12 showing on March 17, 2011 in an 83-74 loss to the Bulls at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Only three Bulls who appeared in the game will be in the series (Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson). The rest of the Bulls included Derrick Rose, Kurt Thomas, Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer and current teammates Keith Bogans and C.J. Watson.

Of course, Williams did not quite have the talent around him that he has now. He had Brook Lopez but the Nets’ starting two guard that night was Anthony Morrow while Kris Humphries and Damion James were the starting forwards.

Only three Bulls who appeared in the game will be in the series (Joakim Noah and Luol Deng and Taj Gibson). The rest of the Bulls included Derrick Rose, Kurt Thomas, Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer and current teammates Keith Bogans and C.J. Watson.

That night Williams was hounded by Rose, but the next time he takes the court, he will face the same array of multiple defenders. It will be up to him to make those decisions and find those who may have better scoring opportunities if Williams has similar encounters with Chicago’s defense.

“I think he has a good sense of [calling plays], and I think it’s always a back-and-forth with us,” Carlesimo said. “In the timeouts [the coaches are] normally going to call something, and when we’re going in the flow and when we’re effective, we just let it go, and Deron makes a real high percentage of the calls.

“We’ll talk any time there’s a dead ball when it’s appropriate, but for the most part, he’s gonna make the calls. When it’s a night when we’re struggling, then it is more of a challenge, but I don’t think it’ll be any different [in Game 3] and I don’t think it’s an adjustment. We’ll watch the tape. We’ll talk to him about what we see. We’ve got two days to go, but he’s way above average in terms of his feel for what’s working, what’s not working, who needs to be more involved, who hasn’t had a shot in a while, who’s got a favorable matchup. Some point guards are very comfortable with doing that, and he’s way above average in terms of what he sees on the floor and getting us into the sets we need to be in.”

Chicago’s defense forced the Nets to take 21 3-pointers. The team took at least 20 in 53 games during the regular season. The Nets won 31 of those games and were 23-11 under Carlesimo when attempting at least 30 3-pointers. In games where they missed at least 15 3-pointers, the Nets are 15-19.

A high volume of 3-point attempts does not necessarily bother Carlesimo. Rather it is how they develop that is more of priority.

“It’s very important but at the same time if we’re moving ball, particularly getting it to the other side of the floor and guys have open shots and are making them, that’s more time and score situation,” Carlesimo said. “I think if we do move the ball and it’s appropriate and we’re getting it to the weak side and the looks are good.”

George wins Most Improved Player

Nobody on the Nets was expected to win this award so it wasn’t a surprise when Indiana forward Paul George was named the league’s Most Improved Player with 52 out of 120 possible first-place votes.

However, the voting did contain some Nets as Andray Blatche picked up one first-place vote as he played in all 82 games for the first time in his career, while Lopez picked up a third-place vote after his first All-Star season.

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…