Why I’m not totally sold on Deron Williams.
Just out of curiosity I went back and compared (because I have no life) the starting five of the 01-02 season to the current season. Although this comparison is somewhat incomplete because we are in the middle of the season, it does (in my mind at least) raise a few questions. In the 01-02 season the Nets had no superstar and a leading scorer who averaged 15 points and 5 rebounds in Kenyon Martin. In fact, the starting five as a whole averaged less in points-per-game than this current team. If Kidd can take a team of role players and lead them to a 52-30 season and a finals appearance, why can’t Deron Williams at least get this team to .500?
My guess(for what it’s worth):
1- Kidd was a better leader. It’s great that Williams can knock down a ton of 3s but does he lead this team? Does he keep this team’s collective head in the game when they have a bad start?
2- There was a commitment to playing lockdown defense that started with Kidd. Even though Martin and Kittles were great defenders before Kidd arrived, it did not show under Marbury. Marbury= bad leader.
3- Turnovers. 01-02 Kidd averaged 3.5 turnovers per game. Williams has 4.2 in half a season. I haven’t seen so many boneheaded turnovers by a Nets team since Gheorghe Muresan (just wanted mention his name) was with the team. All KIDDing aside, these turnovers have killed the team and the fact that Williams has such a high turnover rate makes me wonder.
4- Run Nets Run. Under Kidd the Nets became one of the league leaders in fast-break points. Right now they are at the bottom due to the fact that the Nets shoot a ton of 3s. As Charles Barkley says: You don’t live by the 3, you only die by the 3. But that is more coaching.
I like Deron Williams as a player but it is hard to ignore the record. Kidd’s value went way beyond the numbers. He made his team better. I hope the addition of Howard will help this team get to the next level. But if there is no leader, I’m afraid we’ll all be disappointed.
Kenyon Martin: 14.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.4 tov
Keith Van Horn: 14.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.8 tov
Jason Kidd: 14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 9.9 ast, 3.5 tov
Kerry Kittles: 13.4 ppg, 1.3 tov
Todd MacCulloch: 9.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.1 tov
Total ppg: 67.5
Brook Lopez: 22.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.8 tov
Deron Williams: 21.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 8.3 ast, 4.2 tov
Marshon Brooks: 14.1 ppg, 2.0 ast, 2.0 tov
Kris Humphries: 13.3ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.9 tov
Total ppg: 71.6
Record = 11-26