Tired Deron Williams Admits He’s Not Playing Like an Elite Point Guard

by January 02, 2013

Deron Williams blames some of his ongoing struggles on not having taken any breaks from basketball the last couple of years. Interim head coach PJ Carlesimo thinks the pressure is getting to Williams. Whatever the case, D-Will can knows he’s no longer playing like a top-tier floor general. Per the NY Post: “I don’t think I’m playing like [an elite point guard],’ Williams said. ‘I think I can be. But I’ve just got to figure this thing out.’ The Nets have been a hard team to figure out all season, and that starts with the play of their star point guard. The Nets re-signed Williams to a five-year deal worth just under $100 million this summer thinking he was one of the best players in the NBA — and arguably the league’s best point guard. Instead, Williams has performed more like an average point guard than one worthy of ranking among the league’s elite at the position. In 30 games, Williams is averaging 16.3 points and 7.5 assists while shooting 39.9 from the field and 30.0 percent from 3-point range. Williams admitted the struggles he and the Nets have experienced — going 5-11 in December and seeing coach Avery Johnson get fired last week — have worn on him. ‘Probably [the most in] my whole life, not just the league,’ Williams said when asked if he’s ever been this frustrated since entering the NBA in 2005. ‘I’m definitely frustrated with how I’m playing. I’m disappointed in how I’m playing. I’ve had stretches where one or two games I had off games, but never like this, never consistently playing this bad.’ […] Williams is shooting 39.8 percent overall and 31.9 percent from 3-point range in the 97 games for the Nets, after shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 35.8 percent on 3-pointer in his five-plus seasons in Utah. Williams, who had injured his right (shooting) wrist with the Jazz before being traded, had surgery in April 2011, and admitted his shot hasn’t felt the same since. ‘I felt like I shot a lot better before my wrist surgery,’ he said. ‘I played the last year and a half in Utah with a bad wrist. It’s one of those things where I shot a certain way for 2 1/2 years because of the wrist. I don’t know if it’s changed my shot or what, but my shot hasn’t felt the same since. But I think it’s more mental than my actual wrist being hurt.’ Williams said he’s thinking too much in the wake of all of those missed shots. Instead of just going out on the floor and doing what he knows he’s capable of, he’s analyzing every play as it happens. ‘I’m just overthinking,’ Williams said. ‘I’ve never been a player that can go out there and play and think … I just react. Now, it’s like I come off [a screen] and I’m thinking, ‘Should I shoot this? Should I not?’ I’m just … I’m just not playing the way I should be. That’s all I mean. It’s not injuries. It’s just in my head, and I’ve got to get it out.'”