- Posted: 1:33 PM, March 6, 2012
A team lacks it center, a certified 20-point stud, and out of necessity places about 136 percent of the offensive burden on the shoulders of the ultra-talented All-Star point guard.
Sounds familiar, huh? Now where did we see that?
Oh, yeah, the 12-26 Nets through 32 games.
With Brook Lopez, who stayed with the team here by the way, in a walking boot for a sprained right ankle that will keep him out for three weeks, Deron Williams again becomes The Guy in the offense. In truth, even with Lopez around, he is the guy but without the 7-0 center, figure “The” and “Guy” get capitalized. So there is a lot more offensive weight on his shoulders, like it or not.
“Deron, I think he understands what he's dealing with,” Avery Johnson said before tonight’s morning workout in preparation for tonight’s game with the Heat here – where Chris Bosh is expected back for Miami after missing a 3-game road trip. “He's had a lot of weight on his shoulders the whole season. Hopefully his biceps and triceps are much stronger, because they were in the last game.”
That last game, of course, was Williams’ historic 57-point avalanche in Charlotte Sunday where the Nets made it four wins in the last five road games. That was the greatest single game total in the NBA history of the franchise and only with the Nets could such an achievement be overshadowed by injury.
“I'm just disappointed for Brook and for our team, but life goes on. We had a little snapshot of what can happen when he's in uniform. We had a chance to see him have a really good game against the defending champs on the road and you know our team played pretty well. You know he came back with a pretty decent performance offensively in that Boston game, but just really disappointed for Brook more than anything,” Johnson said. “But again, life goes on.”
And Nets life will be what it was like before Lopez returned for five appearances. Small lineups, spread the floor, lots of 3-pointers.
“We've played most of the season without him and Shelden (Williams) and (Kris) Humphries and (Johan) Petro and the rest of our guys and even when we have to go small a little bit now with him not in the lineup,” Johnson said.
“We’re used to guys being out. That was definitely sad, especially for him. He’s been wanting to play,” Williams said. “And it’s kind of another setback and it’s tough on the team because we were counting on getting him back and having the consistency we were talking about.
“It’s been on-going this whole season, it seems like one after another. It definitely hurts. It’s put a damper on our season, it’s hurt our record. It’s safe to say that. I think we’d be a lot better team if we had everybody healthy and 100 percent all season. You look around the league and there’s not many teams that are 100 percent and have been and I think a lot of that is due to the condensed schedule,” Williams reiterated.
GM Billy King said what has been sort of obvious: that Gerald Green will get a second 10-day contract. He’s up Thursday but now will be renewed.
“”He’ll be back,” King said.
And Green admits it’s a little tough on a 10-day. There’s little margin for error. Still, Green feels the key is to not think “10-day” and to just work, work, work.
“Of course there’s pressure -- you don’t know your security,” Green said. “You do have pressure, but I try to take it day by day and try not to think about it. Just try to figure out a way to jell with the team.”
Shelden Williams has battled a sore right wrist much of the season. It was heavily taped this morning.
“It’s better. It’s not 100 percent, but it’s feeling better,” said Williams.
On his historic night when he shattered the Nets’ franchise single game scoring record, Deron Williams got noticed. Too noticed. Friends bombarded him with text message.
“I had a lot that night,” Williams acknowledged. “I had over 100 that night.”
The absurd condensed schedule – which Deron Williams points at for the cause of so many injuries league wide – continued tonight at home when the Nets play host to the Clippers.