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D-Will on target; Wallace, not so much

3/10/2013

Deron Williams is playing like an elite point guard of late.

Just take a look at the stats:

First 50 games: He averaged 16.7 points and 7.6 assists per game while shooting 41.3 percent from the field, 34.7 percent from 3-point range.

Past 10 games: He is averaging 23.1 points and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and a sizzling 50.7 percent from 3-point range.

"He's playing at a really, really high level right now," Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo told reporters in Atlanta on Saturday, following his team's third straight victory. "Not just in terms of making shots, but in terms of running the team."

Coming off a record night in which he made 11 3-pointers and scored 42 points, Williams had just 17 points and six assists and shot 5-for-13 from the field against the Hawks. But he ran the offense efficiently and drove to the basket aggressively.

"Almost every time you have a big game like that, the next time isn't as good, for whatever reason," Williams said. "You think about it too much. But this was a good win for us. A team win. I wasn't trying to go out and get 40 again."

The key for Williams was sitting out the final two games before the All-Star break. He ended up taking a week off. During that time, he received platelet-rich plasma therapy, his third set of cortisone shots in both ankles and did a three-day juice cleanse.

He has been a different player -- an elite player -- ever since.

WOE IS WALLACE: Gerald Wallace's shooting numbers this season are ugly.

Wallace, signed to a four-year, $40 million contract in the offseason, is making just 30.1 percent of his jump shots, 48.6 percent of his layups and 63.9 percent of his free throws and is shooting only 37.8 percent in the second half.

Wallace, 30, plays his heart out every night. His nickname, "Crash," is fitting. He gives the Nets intangible qualities like leadership that aren't measured in the box score.

Still, he's essentially a liability on offense.

Look at this decline in his numbers:

2009-10 (Charlotte): 18.2 PPG, 10 RPG, .484 FG percentage, .371 3-pointers

2010-11 (Charlotte, Portland): 15.7, 8.0, .454, .333

2011-12 (Portland, New Jersey): 13.8, 6.7, .454, .307

2012-13 (Brooklyn): 8.4, 5.1, .408, .326

During his 16-game stint with New Jersey at the end of last season, Wallace shot just 42 percent from the field.