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Of "death stares" and disappointment

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At the end of practice Thursday, Mike Mazzeo asked Deron Williams a question that went something like this.where's your game at now? This of course came after he had missed an open shot that would have tied Game 2 in Atlanta ... and given the Nets a shot at stealing a game on the Hawks home court.

D-Will fixed Mazzeo with what one colleague called a death stare for six seconds before answering.

"Do I have to really answer that?" he said, breaking into a wry smile. "I just came off two points, 1-for-7. I can play better. All right guys?"

End of interview.  Of course, Williams WILL have to play better than that, although he did grab 10 rebounds and hand out eight assists in the Nets loss.  And so will Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic, both of whom have shot poorly in the Nets two losses.

The Nets find themselves in a hole that only six percent of playoff teams in the same predictament have fought out of and won a series.  It's not looking good, considering that the Nets have now lost all six games the two teams have played this season.

Lionel Hollins thinks there's too much emphasis on his point guard's missed shot.

"Well, would we like Deron to score more? Of course, but Deron is playing his heart out," Hollins said. "He’s giving us what he has. Shots come, shots go. Everybody wants to talk about, ‘He only had two points.’ So what? It’s just basketball. If you don’t have the opportunities and you don’t make shots one night, that doesn’t mean that you’re not playing well. I think the scoring aspect is overstated. If he scores a little more, makes a few more shots, we’re happy. But if he makes shots and plays poorly, what’s the difference?"

The Nets practice again Friday and then take the court Saturday afternoon in what IS the biggest game of their disappointing and frustrating season.  The Nets hope this one ends not with a welp look or a death stare but smiles all around.  It won't be easy.