Archives For Deron Williams

Nikola Pekovic

Yes, Deron Williams isn’t the player he was in Utah, but he still gets you 18 and 8 on most nights. No point guard sees a matchup against Brooklyn as a night off. He’s still a beast.

Yes, Brook Lopez has a lengthy injury history to his record, but a healthy Brook is still a dangerous Brook.

Yes, Joe Johnson doesn’t deserve to have the third biggest paycheck in the NBA, but he’s still giving the Nets very good (All-Star caliber?) production in the latter stages of his career.

Speaking of latter stages, yes, Kevin Garnett is nowhere near the dominant two-way player the he once was, but he’s still a useful starter in spot minutes. Plus, this just happened a couple days ago.

Lastly, it’s true the Nets aren’t the title contenders some hoped they’d be when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce a year ago. Still, you’ll see them competing in the playoffs this spring.

The Nets are the ultimate “yeah, but still” team in the NBA, and they’re who the Timberwolves face off against tonight to start their November road trip.

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Watching the Wolves over the past week, I’ve been struck over and over both by the team’ curiously shaped, oddly angled roster, as well as the crafty ways in which Rick Adelman has managed to patch it all together.  In recent games we’ve been treated to such curiosities as: Kevin Love guarding Pau Gasol; Luke Ridnour checking Metta W. Peace (and Paul George and Anthony Morrow and Deron Williams); Martell Webster doing his honest best on Kevin Martin. These are not exactly dream matchups; the fact that the Wolves have managed to win two of those games speaks highly both of the team’s level of investment and their coach’s ingenuity.

Friday night’s game in Newark offered more for Adelman to puzzle over. Inserting Ridnour into the starting lineup at the off guard has, at the very least, allowed Wesley Johnson to slide over to his natural wing position, where he plays his best defense and is saddled with significantly less ball-handling responsibility (a good thing).  But, drawbacks. As we’ve discussed/lamented many times over, the lineup of Rubio, Ridnour, Johnson, Love and Darko/Pekovic is conspicuously lacking in a bona-fide NBA shot creator and scorer. Enter Michael Beasley and Jose Barea who, theoretically at least, ought to be able to inject energetic one-on-one scoring into the mix.

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