Kidd or Williams? You Decide
by Julian Encarnacion
The New Jersey Nets make a trade to acquire an All-star point guard in hopes to turn their franchise around. Sound familiar? For the Nets, it seems as if lightning strikes twice. New Jersey has been able to attain two premiere point guards within the last decade, the most recent one being Deron Williams.
Many fans believed the arrival of Deron Williams would bring something along the lines of a second coming of Jason Kidd. The Nets made it to the playoffs every year Kidd was on the team, including consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals. Lofty expectations were placed on Deron Williams the moment he became a Net. But if anyone could do it, it had to be D-Will.
Deron grew up in Dallas and modeled his game after the Mavericks' starting point guard at the time, someone who would eventually find his way wearing a Nets jersey later in his career. That's right, Jason Kidd. Williams physically resembles Kidd in stature and weight. He also possesses the ability to command an offense and easily find an open man on the fast break like Kidd.
This however is where the comparison stops between the two. Williams and Kidd are two different types of point guards. They both have different strengths and weaknesses.
Kidd had more of an all-around game where Williams's is more offensive oriented. On offense Kidd excelled in pushing the tempo and getting out on the break for easy buckets. He also relied heavily on creating opportunities for his teammates to score. Williams on the other hand gets assists off pick and rolls as well as kick outs. One of the advantages Williams has over Kidd is his ability to score. Williams is a threat to score 20 points on any given night with Kidd's career scoring average being only 13.1 points, as opposed to Williams's 17.2.
Even the way they score is different. Kidd has always had a physical advantage over smaller guards and would post them up. Williams is magnificent at slashing to the hoop. Williams can take you off the dribble and then just throw it down. There are few point guards who are as athletically gifted as Williams in the NBA.
On the defensive end Kidd is the far superior player. He had made it to either the All-Defensive First or Second Team nine times throughout his career, an accomplishment Williams has to achieve. Another Kidd strength that Williams has failed to replicate is rebounding. Kidd will go down as one of the best rebounding guards in NBA history while averaging 6.5 for his career. With this skill, opposing teams had to prepare for Kidd's ability to get a triple double on a nightly basis.
Jason Kidd can be classified as the ultimate pro for Nets fans and ranks as one of if not the best Net ever for many reasons. The main reason is probably something that cannot be shown as a stat in the box score. His greatest asset was his leadership qualities.
One year after acquiring Deron Williams, the Nets haven't exactly had the turnaround they expected. Williams has only been able to play in 28 games due to injuries and the lockout. The Nets have only won nine times with Williams in the lineup.
The loss of Brook Lopez has forced Williams to become their primary scoring option, but he has been unable to produce effectively. He is attempting more field goals per game (including almost 6 three point attempts per game) than any other year, but is shooting a career low.
Whenever Kidd was on the floor, you knew the Nets had a chance to win because you knew he would work his hardest and hustle his butt off. But with Williams this year, it's up in the air. On certain nights Williams looks downright brilliant orchestrating the offense while scoring with ease, while on other nights he just seem like someone trying to get off the court as soon as possible.
Williams has never lost games at the current rate and the frustration is affecting his game and the team. The poor body language has come across to fans as whiny and obnoxious. It is unfair to make a comparison between when Kidd was a Net and the present because of the teams' talent level, but the difference in professionalism between the two guards is fair game. It is what distinguishes Kidd as a great player and Williams as a really good one. Deron Williams needs to learn how to lead by example as Jason Kidd did for so many years in order to have a winning team.