Lionel Hollins and Joe Johnson defended Deron Williams following Sunday's practice, with Hollins saying he has no plans to change his starting lineup, despite Jarrett Jack's strong play Saturday and Johnson revealing that his teammate has a "severe" case of tendinitis in his knee.
"From a playing perspective, he’s played well," Hollins said. "Would he like to shoot better? Yes. Would we like him to shoot better? Yes. But he’s played extremely well. He’s gotten us off to great starts with his pace, he’s made passes. … When you get seven, eight assists in a game and eight-to-10 rebounds, you’re doing a lot of stuff right."
Then he added a personal note that also suggested falling expectations for the Nets $100 million man.
"I’m disappointed in how everybody is coming down on Deron and trying to treat him like he’s a pariah," Hollins said. "Deron is a good person, he’s a good player. Now, is he on the level you guys think he should be? That’s your fault for thinking that somebody should be something."
As for the notion he was once considered the NBA's best point guard, Hollins dismissed it.
“That’s four years ago. We’re now. No player is the way he was four years ago,” Hollins said. “All I’m saying is now is that the guy is playing well. Somebody picks out that he has two points (in Game 2 against the Hawks). So what? He played well. It’s not just about the scoring."
Hollins said he hoped D-Will would be able to go Monday night. "He's banged up pretty good," he said.
Williams got kneed in his right leg and didn't play the last 16 minutes of the Nets win over the Hawks, wasn't available to beat writers.after practice, but it seemed Johnson was speaking for him.
"At different times in the season we all have knickknack or injuries. I know tendinitis has pretty much been my kryptonite, and I know he has a severe case of that," Johnson said. "It's tough, man. It's tough. But we all have his back, and whatever we have to do, we have to do it."
Williams has in the past two games gone 2-of-15 overall, scoring five points.. For the series, he is averaging 6.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 26.9 percent from the field.
- Deron Williams of Brooklyn Nets suffering from tendinitis, according to teammate Joe Johnson - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Lionel Hollins admits sad truth in Deron Williams defense - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Lionel Hollins lashes out at Deron Williams' critics - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets coach Lionel Hollins defends Deron Williams from criticism - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Lionel Hollins backs up Nets guard Deron Williams - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Deron Williams’s Injury Lingers After Nets’ Reviving Win - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Hollins defends Williams; Johnson says guard has tendinitis - Brian Erni - SNY Nets
- Deron Williams has "severe" tendinitis, Joe Johnson says - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game