Deron Williams wants you to know that he is not frustrated. Nope, not at all.
"(You all are) not gonna bring me down by asking these questions," Williams said after Saturday’s practice. "You guys can be negative. We don’t give a (expletive). We don’t care.
"I’m good. I’m not frustrated right now. Last year, we were losing every game. It’s totally different this year. It’s a different vibe. We’ve lost three in a row and we know that we can play better. We can improve. Last year, we were playing bad and it was really hard to improve. It’s totally different.
"We need to get back to winning and playing defense," D-Will said. "We need to get back to doing what’s made us successful. We haven’t been doing that the last three games. We’ve seen it in the film. It’s on us to change it. You can’t blame Avery (Johnson), Popeye (Jones), Mario (Elie), Billy (King), Mr. (Mikhail) Prokhorov, you guys, the fans. We’ve just gotta get better." h/t to Mike Mazzeo for posting all of this.
So with three straight losses, a missing center and a confident point guard, the Nets will take on Bucks Sunday evening at 6 p.m. in Brooklyn. The Bucks have been up and down all season. They're 9-9 and if the season ended today, they would sneak into the eighth spot in the playoffs. But they started 6-2 and are 3-7 since. Guard play has been somewhat erratic, but Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis are a lethal combination, particularly if the Nets let the Bucks play an uptempo game.
It's the Bucks front court that's been the key to their success and it's been filled with both surprise and frustration. The surprise has been Larry Sanders, the 24-year-old second year pro. He's among the league leaders in blocks and averaging 7.7 and 7.8, mostly off the bench. The frustration, at least until this weekend, has been Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova, who the Nets pursued off and on during free agency, is shooting a miserable 37.8 percent overall and 26.3 percent from three. His averages are not good for a guy who got a $40 million deal: 8.4 and 5.2. The last two games Scott Skiles has him coming off the bench and wouldn't you know it, he's seems to have woken up, averaging 19 points, 8.5 rebounds and shooting just below 50% overall.
The Bucks do like to run and with that backcourt, they can. They're eighth in fast break points, scoring nearly twice as many points as the Nets in the running game. Overall, though, they're 20th in offensive efficiency. Although they're stuck in the middle on defensive efficiency, they are first in blocked shots, thanks to Sanders. A couple of Nets connections in the roster: Mike Dunleavy spent a lot of his September at the PNY Center, working out with the Nets and rookie John Henson was Andray Blatche's sparring mate at ' camp in Houston. He's also someone the Nets might have taken if they had a first round pick last June.
For the Nets, Brook Lopez remains out. Toko Shengelia may join him in street clothes. The game will have special resonance for Nets scout Khalid Green, who coached the Bucks' Doron Lamb at Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn before joining the Nets.
- Brooklyn Nets Tickets - TiqIQ
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Milwaukee Bucks Game Notes - Milwaukee Bucks
- Bucks at Nets - December 9, 2012 - Jordan Garretson - STATS
- Nets won't let skid get them down - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets' Deron Williams: Defense, 'vibe' must be improved - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets welcome Reggie Evans back - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Deron: Nets ‘know we can play better’ - Howie Kussoy - New York Post
- Looking back at Nets-Warriors - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Samuel Dalembert: "It's not working" (Video) - USA Today
- Sanders, Udoh get chance to start for Bucks - Charles F. Gardner - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
- Preview: Bucks at Nets - Charles F. Gardner - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Bucks vs. Nets Preview: Bucks make maiden voyage to Brooklyn - Frank Madden - Brew Hoop