Monday, January 28, 2013
D-Will earns his salary against Magic
By Mike Mazzeo
Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams signed a five-year, $98 million contract in the offseason and is making $17.2 million in 2012-13.
Sounds like a lot, right?
Well, if interim coach P.J. Carlesimo had it his way, those gargantuan salary figures would double.
"The point guards in this league should get paid twice what they make," Carlesimo said. "Because their matchups every night -- they really just gotta play against a helluva player."
Deron Williams had 20 points and nine assists in 34 minutes against the Magic.
Early in the season, Williams was the second-best point guard on the floor on most nights. Lately, that hasn’t been the case.
D-Will followed up a 27-point, 11-assist effort in Houston by pumping in 20 points and 9 assists in just 34 minutes, as the Nets rolled to a 97-77 victory over the hapless Orlando Magic on Monday night at Barclays Center.
"We needed this win," Williams said. "We needed to stop the bleeding."
Williams served as a one-man tourniquet in the first quarter. He had 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting and the Nets jumped out to a 30-20 lead. Other than their nine-turnover third quarter, it was mostly easy from there.
"It wasn’t my plan or anything," said Williams, who has scored 33 first-quarter points in his last two games on 12-for-13 shooting. "I just got going early."
"I thought he had an excellent game," Carlesimo said. "We could’ve made one more shot, he would’ve had a double-double too."
The Nets (27-18) went 4-0 against the Magic this season and are 17-0 versus sub-.500 teams (at the time of game played). Brooklyn shot 13-for-29 from 3-point range on Monday night, while holding Orlando (14-30, 2-17 in its last 19) to 40.5 percent shooting.
"We’ve won eight straight games here, but we have three tough games coming up at home. We gotta be ready to go," Williams said.
First up for Brooklyn during that stretch will be the defending champion Miami Heat, who beat the Nets by a combined 43 points in their previous two meetings, on Wednesday night. Then the Chicago Bulls (Friday night) and the Los Angeles Lakers (Tuesday night) follow.
"The [second] time we played them [the Heat] we had them down," Williams said. "We were playing some of our best basketball and then they made some adjustments at halftime and kind of ran us out of the building.
"It’s a good game for us. A good test for us. I think we’re a little bit different team than we were the last two times we’ve played them, but we’ve gotta be ready to go."
And what exactly makes these Nets, who are 13-4 under Carlesimo but just 10-18 against .500 or better teams, a "different team"?
"I think we’re just playing better," D-Will replied.
Added shooting guard Joe Johnson: "I’m sure we’ll be ready for this challenge coming up. Our main objective is to take care of our homecourt, regardless of who we’re playing. I know we’re capable of winning every night. We’ve just gotta bring that focus and effort and 48 minutes to win the game."