Starting Five: D-Will still looking lost

November, 15, 2013
11/15/13
9:00
AM ET
Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams said he’s starting to feel like his old self, and the three-time All-Star looked like his old self Wednesday night in Sacramento, Calif. -- albeit briefly.

Shortly after appearing to tweak his left ankle late in the second quarter, Williams made back-to-back baskets: driving for a layup and then drilling a 16-foot jumper. Williams was aggressive looking for his shot, but too often, the team’s arguable most talented player was passive, trying to make his teammates happy.

Williams might be healthier -- well, as healthy as he’s looked this season -- but he still doesn’t look comfortable.

It’s early, but his PER (13.77) is below the league average (15). His turnover ratio -- the percentage of his possessions that end in a TO -- is higher than it’s ever been (14.5).

As a team, the Nets ended up laying their second egg of the season Wednesday night. The second-oldest squad in the NBA couldn’t match Sacramento’s energy and effort.

"We need some wins. Like I said, we have to trust each other, trust the system and what we’re doing and we’ll be fine," Williams told the New York Daily News after the Nets were blown out by the Kings 106-87.

"We've got some things to work on, get better at and it’ll come. It’ll come."

The Nets (2-5, 0-4 road), who rank 26th in offensive efficiency seven games in, elected to not practice Thursday.

Friday night, they face another young but surprising team in the Phoenix Suns (5-3). Point guard Eric Bledsoe (21.1 PPG, 7.1 APG) is the engine that makes the Suns go.

If the Nets are going to win this game and snap their three-game losing streak, they can’t afford to take Phoenix lightly. They’re going to have to match their opponent’s intensity.

In Thursday’s Starting Five, we detailed Brooklyn’s problems. Defensively, they have to be better. Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez need to jell. KG, specifically, must be a better shooter than he has been (30.6 percent). They have to win the third quarter (they're 0-5 when they don’t), and they can’t let the Suns dictate pace.

If those things don’t happen, Brooklyn will be in for another long night. And if that’s the case, all those questions they don’t want to hear are going to pop up again.

In case you missed it: The Nets are going to be wearing "BIG logo" uniforms on Christmas.

Details from a team press release: The new 'BIG logo' uniform will feature a Brooklyn Nets secondary logo with a B on a basketball in reflective chrome as the focal point on the short-sleeve jersey. The player’s number will be on the back and on the left sleeve. To complete the uniform, the jersey will be paired with an ultra lightweight short with chrome piping that offers maximum ventilation.

Stat of the day: Brook Lopez is averaging 2.7 blocks per game.

Question: What have you seen from D-Will so far? What do you like? What don't you like?

What’s next: The Nets face the Suns. I’ll have you covered right here on the blog.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8