Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Brooklyn Nets [Print without images]

Sunday, December 23, 2012
D-Will finds success with old plays

By Mike Mazzeo

Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams' 3-pointer with 1:04 remaining on Sunday afternoon was important for three reasons:

Deron Williams
Deron Williams had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists against the 76ers.
• It gave the Nets an 89-82 lead, and they went on to snap a three-game losing streak with a 95-92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

• D-Will came into the game shooting a career-low 29.4 percent from 3-point range, and had missed his first two attempts from beyond the arc.

• It came as a result of a perfectly executed motion set in the half-court.

So, Deron, just looking for clarification, was that a play you used to run in Utah?

"No," he replied. "Those were Coach (Avery) Johnson’s sets."

The reporters surrounding his locker laughed. No added controversy necessary.

Williams made his first two shots, then proceeded to miss his next five before connecting on his final three. Nine of his 16 points came in the fourth quarter. He added six rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes.

"I hit some shots -- the 3 and the layup -- some shots that we needed at crucial times, so hopefully I can get my confidence going a little bit," said Williams, who is 12 for his last 23 from the field over a two-game span.

During the team’s three-day break between games, Johnson implemented some "new-old" offensive sets. The Nets had averaged 86 points per game during their losing streak.

They started Sunday’s game just 2-for-11, but rebounded to shoot a respectable 44.6 percent and ended up with just nine turnovers.

"We put in a couple new sets, which are old sets we ran the last couple years, that we hadn’t put in this year, and there was a little more continuity," Williams said. "We just went over it, worked on it, and it was good for us tonight."

Johnson also decided to change the starting lineup, pulling Kris Humphries in favor of Keith Bogans (season-high 13 points), which allowed Gerald Wallace (14 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals) to move to power forward. The result was better floor spacing and balance. Six Nets finished in double figures, led by Joe Johnson’s team-high 22.

"It was great," Avery Johnson said. "It was really good because we just put (those new plays in) two days ago. There was a lot of movement. A lot of continuity. Guys trusted the offense. It was fun to watch."