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Tuesday vs. Jazz a big date for slumping Deron Williams

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All That Jazz? Is that enough to shake D-Will out of season-long slump

USA TODAY Sports

In the nearly two years since Deron Williams was traded for a lot of young and future assets, he's had his moments. The early dagger against the Celtics shortly after he joined the Nets led to jubilation in Newark. Last year's NBA individual season highs of 57 points vs. the Bobcats (a Nets record) and 20 assists vs. the Warriors (more than Jason Kidd ever recorded for the Nets) marked the first time a player had achieved both in same season since Wilt Chamberlain. Then, there was the LinSanity-ending 38-point, eight three-pointer classic at the Garden.

But overall, D-Will's numbers are down since the Jazz sent him east. His current numbers are ugly: a sub 40 percent shooting percentage overall, a sub 30 percent beyond the arc mark. His defense has been problematic as well. When he's on the floor, opponents score 14 points more per 100 possessions. He doesn't shy away from responsibility. Nor does he know why things have gone down hill.

"I think it's mostly mental with me. It's become mental," Williams said recently. "I've tried getting up extra shots, I've tried not shooting so I don't think about it. I tried shooting before games, not shooting before games, so I hopefully I snap out of it."

It would be nice if he had an epiphany Tuesday vs. the team that traded him. It would also help the Nets start to "click" again offensively. It's not like last season when injuries decimated the Nets. Brook Lopez is back with only Jerry Stackhouse questionable. Still, it's more than about health, admits D-Will. "Our offense just isn't working for a full game. We've had bits and pieces and we've had guys be hot and other guys not be hot. But we haven't had everybody on the same page all year."