It was a moment ... and a moment of truth.
Mike Mazzeo caught up with Deron Williams post-game Friday following his best two game stretch in, like, forever. In wins over the Knicks and Raptors, Williams averaged 28.5 pts and 9 dimes, shot 56.4 percent overall, 64.3 from deep. More importantly, his team had won six straight.
He knew the context, what people were thinking. After a season where he was denigrated as the 20th best (10th worst) starting point guard in the league, his numbers way down. Now it looked like he was back. He knew where he stood.
"I’ve been through a lot since I’ve been here. I want to play good for myself. I want to play good for my family and, more importantly, God," Williams told ESPN.com while walking to his car after the game was over. "We just gotta keep on trucking. Things haven’t gone our way, but we have to keep a positive attitude -- no matter if I play the whole second half, don’t play the whole second half, don’t finish games, finish games, I can only control what I can control."
"I don’t care about trade rumors, who they bring in here," he added. "That doesn’t bother me one bit. I could care less. I motivate myself."
D-Will spoke as well about changes in the team.
"KG meant a lot to us defensively, energy-wise, leadership-wise," Williams said of Kevin Garnett, then noting of the post-KG Nets. "I just think it allows other guys to kinda step up and just talk, and it’s kinda a team thing now. KG’s such a great leader and a guy we just turned to. It just was kinda that’s what we always did."
"I think we got younger and a little bit more athletic," Williams told Mazzeo. "And I think Thad at this point in his career adds a little more offensively. It always us to get out and run more."
He did not dismiss all the ups and downs, being benched for Jarrett Jack, his old buddy
"It’s been really hard at times to get into a rhythm at times," Williams said. "So I feel like the last couple games, I’ve been able to be more aggressive and get into a rhythm, and coach drew up some plays for me, and I felt really good out there."
Meet the D-Will you always remembered - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York