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Monday, January 20, 2014
Starting Five: The return of D-Will

By Ohm Youngmisuk

Barring something unforeseen, Deron Williams will be back in the lineup when the Brooklyn Nets face the New York Knicks in a MLK Day matinee at the Garden.

Williams has been out for five games after having cortisone shots and platelet-rich plasma injections in both of his ankles. The Nets went 4-1 during Williams' absence and have won six of their past seven games.

The Nets (16-22) should be only better with their All-Star point guard back. But will there be a slight adjustment period considering how well the Nets have played of late? The Nets have lost starters such as Williams, Brook Lopez and Paul Pierce for multiple games due to injuries this season, and when one of them returned, the Nets had some adjusting to do.

Right now, players look as comfortable with their roles as they have all season. But they certainly can use another offensive threat to take some of the scoring load off Joe Johnson, and Williams provides the Nets with a major scoring threat.

"He's gonna fit in," Shaun Livingston said. "We all know what he can bring to the table. It’s with his body, where his body is, and just getting back into game shape that’s going to be the biggest component. We’re ready to welcome him back, though."

Nets coach Jason Kidd could start Williams with Livingston in the backcourt to have two point guards on the floor and allow Williams to look for his shot more. And he could go with Johnson, Pierce and Garnett to keep his small lineup going.

Johnson and Williams said there won't be much of an adjustment, if at all, to the point guard's return.

"I haven’t missed that much time, I’ve only missed five games," Williams said. "So I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I think it will be all right."

Up now: The Nets are looking forward to getting D-Will back.

The Nets owe the Knicks some payback.

Why the Nets can put the Knicks in that dark place where Carmelo Anthony doesn't want to go.

In case you missed it, the Nets will make a couple of minor trades.

Dwight talks Nets again.

What's next: Nets-Knicks, Part 2 in a 2:30 p.m. MLK Day matinee at Madison Square Garden.

Net fact: Kevin Garnett is warming up. KG is averaging 12.3 points and has shot 16-for-23 (69.6 percent) in his past three games. In his six games during this New Year, Garnett is shooting 19-for-29 (65.5 percent).

Net question: How do you think the Nets will do with Deron back and which starting five do you think Kidd should use? Let us know below.