D-Will's minutes still restricted

November, 5, 2013
11/05/13
11:37
AM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams thinks he’s still on a minutes restriction, but isn’t entirely sure.

“I haven’t really talked to anybody about it,” Williams said.

Williams, still recovering from a sprained right ankle injury he suffered during an offseason workout in Utah, has played 27 minutes in the previous two games after playing 22 minutes in the regular-season opener.

"This is preseason, training camp (for him)," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "He didn't get to do a lot in the regular training camp or preseason, so we have to figure out how to get him (in there) without running him out there for 35 minutes and now he can't play the next night, so this is a process. I think, again, we had a process of bringing him back, it worked, and now we've got to do it during the regular season, so he's been good about that. And it's just gonna take some time. We haven't played him over 30-something minutes, but there will be a point in the season when he'll get there."

Williams, 29, is averaging just 8.0 points on 36 percent shooting in the early-going.

“Hopefully close,” Williams replied when asked how close he is to being the same player that was reverse-dunking in the playoffs last season.

“I just think it’s a matter of getting my legs under me. I haven’t done anything for six months. I’ve been pretty much just limited to jogging. That just happened a couple weeks ago. So I’m just trying to get there and get my confidence back in my legs and then I’ll be ready.”

The Nets host the winless Jazz (0-3) at Barclays Center Tuesday night. Williams has never beaten his former team (0-4).

“Hopefully we can get a win tonight,” Williams said, laughing. “That’s the goal.”

The Nets (1-2) need a win after losing by 21 in Orlando Sunday night.

“We gotta take care of this one tonight, and get back on the winning track, get back to .500 and that’s what’s on our minds,” Williams said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, as a team we need to get back to playing Brooklyn basketball.

“I thought we got good looks last game, we just didn’t make them. I don’t think offense was our problem. I think it was defensively we didn’t do what we needed to do to get a win.”

The Nets went just 23-18 at Barclays Center last season. They want to improve that record this season.

“We definitely want to protect home court. That’s one of our goals,” Williams said.

" Big men Brook Lopez (sprained right ankle) and Andray Blatche (sprained left ankle) are expected to play.

“I think both will be fine,” Kidd said. “We’ll see how they feel this morning (after shootaround).

“I feel like right now if it was game-time I’d be able to go,” Lopez said.

" Forward Mirza Teletovic claimed his tweet in Croatian following Sunday night’s game, which translated to “I hate liars,” was not about venting over playing time.

“Nothing to do with basketball at all or the Nets,” Teletovic said. “I wrote it in my language because it was meant for somebody in my language. It has nothing to do with the Nets.”

Teletovic has played just seven minutes this season.

“You know, I think right now, if I'm correct we’ve only played [three] games and a lot of people haven't played,” Kidd said.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Joe Johnson
PTS AST STL MIN
16.7 3.8 1.0 34.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 8.0
AssistsD. Williams 6.8
StealsD. Williams 1.1
BlocksB. Lopez 1.6