Avery Johnson Wants Deron Williams to Stay Positive Through Struggles

by January 11, 2012

DWill hasn’t minced words when it comes to the New Jersey Nets’ play this season, but his coach would like for the floor leader to somehow be positive, for his teammates’ sake. Per the NY Post: “It comes as little surprise that the Nets, who begin a four-game West Coast trip tonight in Denver, have gotten off to a 2-8 start. ‘It is what it is,’ Nets coach Avery Johnson said. ‘Had we had Lopez healthy and we’d be 2-8, I’d be very disappointed. But, again, we’ve had our chances. We’ll have another shot at another 10 games, and then we’ll have another shot at another 10, and we’ll be at the halfway point of the season. So, right now, we’re basically a team that’s coming out of training camp. We’ve got a ways to go, guys. … We’ve got a long ways to go.’ No one has taken the Nets’ rough start harder than Deron Williams. After he spent his career consistently reaching the playoffs with the Utah Jazz, Williams has admitted he doesn’t take losing well. Part of that has manifested itself in poor body language, something that Williams himself brought up after Monday’s 106-101 home loss to the Hawks as something he was consciously trying to improve, and something that he also brought to the attention of his coach. ‘Anybody that’s in a leadership role, a lot of times it’s not always what you say, it’s what people see,’ Johnson said. ‘Deron’s emotions and the way he feels on the court has a big effect on our team. You could see, with the way he had better, positive body language throughout the game [Monday] night, it had a positive effect on our team. We actually played better. … We didn’t win, but we played better in a lot of areas.’ Much of Williams’ frustration has stemmed from the fact that both he personally, and the team as a whole, have struggled offensively. With teams actively double-teaming the Nets’ marquee player, he has had a lot of trouble getting open looks. ‘It’s the defenses [against him],’ Johnson said. ‘They are geared towards trying to stop him, and forcing other guys to make plays. We’ve come up with some ways where we can have some different screening situations, slipping screens … without giving away our gameplan, we’re trying to free him up a bit more, and just sometimes the shots haven’t fallen.'”