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Sunday, November 25, 2012
Avery Johnson: D-Will is 'banged up'

By Mike Mazzeo

Brooklyn Nets coach Avery Johnson wasn’t trying to make excuses, but point guard Deron Williams is currently banged up -- and he’s been shooting poorly as a result.

In his last five games, D-Will has gone 23-for-69 from the field (33.3 percent). For the season, he’s tied his career-low in shooting with 40.7 percent -- the same percentage he shot in 2011-12.

"I think he's banged up his elbow and his wrist," Johnson said prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. "That's not a great recipe for success for a shooter. So I just think it's a matter of him getting extremely confident in his shot, and he's just been nursing a lot of little issues -- wrist, hand, elbow. It’s not an excuse it’s just a fact.

"Deron is a terrific shooter, and I think his shot is gonna come around, but right now the focus is on quarterbacking the team, and I think for good reason his focus is on making sure Joe (Johnson) is coming along."

• The Nets traded what became the sixth pick in the 2012 NBA draft and other pieces to the Blazers in exchange for small forward Gerald Wallace. Portland selected 22-year-old point guard Damian Lillard, who has been brilliant (20.2 ppg, 6.0 apg) and looks like the early favorite to capture Rookie of the Year honors.

Avery Johnson believes so far it's been a good deal for both teams.

"With our situation with Deron and all that was going on at that time, Gerald Wallace was definitely the right move for us," Johnson said. "He definitely hasn't played his best basketball yet. He will as the season wears on. But it's just a situation that worked out well for both teams. Considering what we sent in that whole package and getting Gerald in return, we needed a starting three-man that was versatile enough to play four. I think it's worked out well for both teams."

Mirza Teletovic is once again inactive for the Nets, joining Tornike Shengelia (sprained left thumb).