NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Nets point guard Deron Williams is struggling this season.
There’s no two ways about it.
And his rough start to the 2012-’13 season — in which the Nets have dropped 11 of their last 16 games and fired their coach — has the three-time All-Star beyond frustrated.
He just can’t seem to wrap his head around what’s being going wrong.
“I don’t think I’m playing like [an elite point guard],” Williams said. “I think I can be, but I’ve just got to figure this thing out.”
Williams’ numbers have been very pedestrian in the Nets’ first season in Brooklyn. In 30 games played, the 28-year-old is averaging 16.3 points and 7.5 assists. More disturbingly, he’s shooting just 39.9 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from three-point range.
“(It’s) probably (the most frustrated I’ve been in) my whole life, not just the league,” the 6-foot-3, 209-pounder said. “I’m definitely frustrated with how I’m playing. I’m disappointed in how I’m playing. I’ve had stretches where one or two games I had off games, but never like this. I’ve never consistently played this bad.”
Brooklyn re-signed the former first-round pick to a five-year, $98.7 million contract this summer. He has been regarded by many as arguably the top point guard in the league, but his stock has fallen with this play this year.
Though Williams has some injury history — he underwent surgery on his right wrist in April of 2011 — the seventh-year player thinks that the reason for his struggles might be linked to his mindset.
“I felt like I shot a lot better before my wrist surgery,” he said. “I played the last year-and-a-half in Utah with a bad wrist. It’s one of those things where I shot a certain way for 2 1/2 years because of the wrist. I don’t know if it’s changed my shot or what, but my shot hasn’t felt the same since. But I think it’s more mental than my actual wrist being hurt.
“I’m just overthinking. I’ve never been a player that can go out there and play and think … I just react. Now, it’s like I come off [a screen] and I’m thinking, ‘Should I shoot this? Should I not?’ I’m just … I’m just not playing the way I should be. That’s all I mean. It’s not injuries. It’s just in my head, and I’ve got to get it out.”
Williams will square off with one of the premier point guards in the NBA in Russell Westbrook on Wednesday night when the Nets head to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder.
Is Deron Williams still an elite point guard in your mind? Will he bounce back this season, or have we seen the best of him? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…