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Deron Williams: Media criticism was motivation for bounce back

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

In the final edition of "Nets Magazine" on YES, Deron Williams talks about how criticism of his first half play motivated his post All-Star Break bounce back. After Sarah Kustok noted, "he used the criticism from the media for fuel for a bounce back in the second half," Williams explained how much it hurt to hear the criticism ... and how the motivation will last beyond this season.

"When you hear people talking about it that way ... [that] it's all on me ... it definitely hurts, definitely motivates you to come back stronger," said Williams, adding, "So I look forward to prove people wrong -- for years to come."

Just before the All-Star break, Williams underwent platelet rich plasma therapy as well as a regimen of cortisone shots and changed his diet. The result was a dramatic improvement in his game. Afterwards, he said he couldn't walk up stairs at home without pain.

Billy King said some of the criticism went too far ... and was ultimately proven wrong.

"A lot people took unfair shots at him and doubted him," said King who has long said D-Will's injuries alone were behind his slow start. "He was going through something. And one thing was that he acknowledged that he was going it through publicly and a lot of other players don't do that. So I'm happy for him and happy for the team. I knew that a player of his caliber just doesn't go away."

The comments were part of a feature on how "Brooklyn's Backcourt" had played during the season. Joe Johnson talked about how he likes taking the last shot, something he did better than anyone in the league last season, making nine of 10 shots in the last minute of the fourth quarter or overtime, with the game on the line (within three points).

"Honestly, I don't know how it happens," a smiling Johnson said. "I just try to come out and do everything I can, whether it's getting the best shot or creating the shot for someone else. The shots that I've made, I'm not afraid to take them. I relish those moments because it's one or the other, it's hit-or-miss and I think my chances of making them are pretty good. so i'm always willing to take those big shots.

"You know, it has been pretty exciting, not just hitting the shots, but seeing the reaction from my teammates, the fans. You know Brooklyn has been great to us this whole season. So to give the fans those kinds of moments, it's unbelievable."

As for the pairing, King said Williams and Johnson fulfilled his expectations when he was putting the team together last summer.

"It gives you guys you can go to," said regarding the pairing. "If one guy's not having it, you can go to Brook inside, you can go to Deron, you can go to Joe, Its tough for our opponents to match up against us, and in putting the team together, that's how I envisioned it, having three guys with the potential of scoring 20 every night."

The edition overall was a review of the playoffs as well as a retrospective on the season. There was a lot of video as well as interviews with members of the "Loud and Proud" contingent. Nets Magazine airs four times this week: at 12 noon Monday; 7:30 am Thursday; 12:30 am Friday and 6:00 am next Sunday. It's not online.