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Deron Williams reprising last year's success

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday was the third anniversary of Deron Williams' trade to the Nets ... and the promise of something special. it's been a tough time, especially of late.  Then, just like last year, some treatment here, some juicing there and voila, the Nets point guard is playing at the level he did in Utah.

"I’m just feeling better. I’m getting some good treatment. My ankles are feeling better and my confidence is up because of that," Williams told the YES Network Sunday night. "When I feel like I can feel my legs, when I can jump and when I can be active, I’m a different basketball player."

His performance vs. the Lakers was not just vintage D-Will; it was extraordinary: 30 points, including some clutch shots in the clutch; five rebounds, seven assists and six assists. The last time a Nets player did that was 10 years ago and the player was Jason Kidd.  Since the All-Star break, Williams is averaging 23.0 points, 6.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.0 turnovers on 48.9 percent shooting. Other than his three-point shooting, Williams is starting out the same way he did last February.

Can he keep it up?  He says his confidence is up and his coach agrees.  But one of his teammates thinks that shouldn't be an issue.

"He should have confidence," Joe Johnson said. "He should always have confidence, regardless of the circumstances of how you’re playing. We’re men and we’re on the highest level of basketball, so confidence should always be there. He’s just got to keep playing."

So there.