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Power Rankings: More Deron than Twin

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Jeff Gross

The big news this week about the Nets is, of course, Jason Collins and a lot of the power-ranking pundits see his skill set --defense, BBIQ-- helping the team stabilize and move up. But for a number of them, Deron Williams' like-clockwork turnaround is the more promising aspect of the Nets, post-break.

There's little variation this week, with most power rankers putting them at No. 14, with the highest ranking at No. 13 and the lowest at No. 17.

John Schuhmann, (14)

As he was making history and blazing a trail, Jason Collins gave the Nets some good minutes (featuring hard screens, hard fouls and a big offensive rebound) in Sunday's win in L.A. Deron Williams, meanwhile, seems to have done well with the All-Star break again. He averaged 23.0 points on 49 percent shooting in his first three games back, getting to the basket and finishing well.

Marc Stein, ESPN (14)

Most important development in Brooklyn absolutely no one is talking about today? There has been no mention of another juice cleanse or anything of that nature, but Deron Williams -- for the second successive season -- has emerged from the All-Star break looking a lot more like vintage D-Will.

Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports (17)

Jason Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, found a great comfort zone in the veteran Nets who welcomed him with no concerns.

Jason Patt, SB Nation (17)

Jason Collins made history on Sunday, becoming the first active openly gay player in America's four major professional sports leagues:

Adi Joseph, USA Today (17)

Jason Collins lands on a team that knows a few things about media scrutiny.

Kurt Helin, NBC Sports (14)

Lost in much of the Jason Collins talk — the Nets could use his skill set. Collins is a good post defender, sets strong screens and is strong on the boards. In certain match ups the Nets need those skills, they can still be a bit soft.

Matt Moore, CBS Sports (13)

Welcome back, Jason Collins. By the way, you are now the fourth-fastest guy on the team.

Jimmy Spencer, FOX Sports (14)

The Nets could pull off a full recovery and easily slide into the No. 3 spot out East. If they do, they’ll be in just as good of a position as if they’d won 50-plus games (any other year). Of course, it won’t change the fact this Nets team just doesn’t have enough to beat Miami or Indy

Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated (14)

Bet on Jason Collins sticking around in Brooklyn. His 10-minute debut -- five fouls, two rebounds, one steal -- provided the type of scrappiness and dirty work that the Nets' bench needs. He was plus-8, the best of anyone on Brooklyn's bench.

Brian Kamenetsky, Sheridan Hoops (17)

Still have a solid chance of rising high enough to avoid Miami and Indiana in the first round, allowing Mikhail Prokhorov to make back about .28% of the money he’s invested in this roster.

Tim Bontemps, New York Post (14)

The Nets made history Sunday by signing Jason Collins, but it was much more important basketball-wise to have Deron Williams play like an All-Star again.