D-Will: I'm not a coach killer

October, 25, 2013
10/25/13
11:59
PM ET
Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams doesn't like being called a coach killer.

Before being traded to the Nets, Williams butted heads with Jerry Sloan shortly before the longtime coach resigned.

Last season, Williams appeared to criticize Avery Johnson's isolation-heavy offensive system shortly before Johnson was fired. But Williams said Friday night that wasn't the case.

Asked about the offensive flow of this year's team, Williams responded:

"It's different. Y'all thought I was talking about Avery last year. I never said anything bad about Avery. I just said the way we were playing, it's tough to win like that. It's tough to win -- especially against good teams -- you can't win just holding the ball and going one-on-one. Against the Chicago Bulls, you can't win like that. You can't play on just one side of the floor because you play right into what they're trying to do.

"With this team, if we move the ball, if we share the ball, play like we did tonight, have a bunch of assists, it's fun to play that way. And that's the way I like to play."

Under new coach Jason Kidd, the Nets are trying to run an offense more suited for Williams, who thrived in Sloan's "flex offense." Shooting guard Joe Johnson has said the Nets run a "freelance" offense based on motion and reads.

The Nets hit 17 3-pointers in their 108-87 victory over the two-time defending champions, and Williams made his preseason debut. They beat Miami 86-62 earlier in the preseason.

Williams, though, isn't putting any stock into that.

"It's the preseason. If we think we're going to come in and beat Miami by 30 every time, then we're crazy," he said. "But we did a lot of good things we can take away from this game, but we saw a lot of things we can work on. We realize if we play like this, we can have a chance to win every night."

The Nets went 0-3 against the Heat last season, losing by an average of 21 points. LeBron James owns a personal 17-game winning streak against Brooklyn/New Jersey.

The Nets and Heat meet at Barclays Center on Nov. 1.

• Nets forward Paul Pierce and Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade played pretty physical against each other Friday night. In the first quarter, Pierce was posting up against Wade, and Wade put a forearm into Pierce. Wade was called for a hard foul.

"I don't know what y'all talking about," Pierce said. "I didn't feel nothing. You see I didn't even budge."

It felt similar to the last time the two teams met, when Pierce thwarted James on the fast break by lowering his shoulder and delivering a playoff-style foul.

Given all the back-and-forth already between James and Pierce and Kevin Garnett, it seems like this is going to be a pretty darn good rivalry going forward.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
16.4 0.6 0.5 28.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsB. Lopez 7.0
AssistsD. Williams 6.3
StealsT. Young 1.3
BlocksB. Lopez 1.7