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Monday, December 3, 2012
Avery: Struggling? D-Will is not struggling

By Mike Mazzeo

Nets coach Avery Johnson was confident that point guard Deron Williams would re-sign in July.

Now Johnson is confident that D-Will will break out of his shooting funk.

"He'll be fine," Johnson said Monday. "He's the last guy I'm worried about. He's gonna be just fine."

Williams is shooting a career-worst 38.2 percent from the field. According to basketball-reference.com, he's making just 32.6 percent of his jump shots.

"I'll take Deron shooting with one arm," Johnson said when asked if he'd ever discourage his All-Star point guard from shooting. "That's how much confidence I've got. And that's not a coaching statement. I really believe that."

D-Will believes he isn't shooting well because his confidence is lacking. But Johnson believes it probably has more to do with the fact that Williams is banged up. D-Will recently revealed that he has been playing through a sprained right shooting wrist, among other ailments.

"I said it to you guys a week ago, it's kind of the bangs and pains of the season. And he'll get through it," Johnson said. "He didn't do a whole lot today in practice, but he's gonna be fine. He's a gamer. He's a baller. And he's a fighter. And he doesn't make excuses, but we are dealing with some little issues, and sometimes those issues are in the wrong places at the wrong time. But we'll make it through.

"The main thing is, he's gonna play better. He's not playing bad. Where he is right now is not struggling, in my mind."

D-Will is averaging 8.9 assists per game to just 2.9 turnovers. He's also averaging 3.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals, while shooting 83.8 percent from the free throw line.

"I'll be the first to tell you when I think it's a struggle," Johnson said. "But I think he's doing a good job of quarterbacking the team."

For the record, when asked how he was feeling, D-Will responded, "Fine."