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Thursday, February 9, 2012
D-Will deserving of All-Star nod

By Mike Mazzeo

Deron Williams was well-deserving of being named as a reserve for the Eastern Conference in the upcoming 2012 NBA All-Star game on Feb. 26 in Orlando.

Here’s why:

1. He’s good (stats courtesy of the Nets)

D-Will ranks 12th in the NBA in scoring (20.9) and tied for fifth in assists (8.6). He leads the Nets with four 30-plus point games and 14 20-plus point performances. He is the only player in the NBA averaging 20-plus points and eight-plus assists this season. He’s tied with Ricky Rubio and Steve Nash for the most points/assists double-doubles with 11. He’s the only point guard in the league to tally at least four 34-plus point games this season. When he scored a season-high 35 points and dished out 14 assists in Phoenix on Jan. 13, he became only the second Net in franchise history to record 35-or-more points and at least 14 assists in a non-overtime game (Stephon Marbury). He has hit a career-high tying six 3-pointers twice this season. Even his shooting numbers are more than respectable (.411/.353/.846) after a horrendous start.

2. He doesn’t pick his teammates

The Nets are only 8-19, but don’t blame it all on D-Will. In the Nets’ eight victories, he’s averaging 26.5 points and 10.3 assists. Think about it, who does he have? He hasn’t had Brook Lopez (broken foot) all season. He hasn’t had a post presence all season, and he gets double-teamed all the time. The Nets have played 13 different starting lineups. Everyone on their team except Shelden Williams has missed at least one game. Right now, the team only has nine healthy players. And remember, they’re not that talented a team to begin with. They struggle to score and defense, and they live and die by the 3-pointer. Has D-Will been lousy at times? Sure. Has he complained too much about the injuries, the losing and the Prudential Center. Yes. But given who he has to play with, he this is a deserving honor.

3. He was voted in by the Eastern Conference coaches

It’s not like it was the fans or a committee of writers that gave D-Will the nod. It was the coaches that see him in games and evaluate him in film sessions. They know what they’re talking about -- or at least most of them do. They probably realize just like the rest of us that the talent around him is sorely lacking and his assist numbers would be way up if not for all the dropped passes and turnovers. And D-Will is going to turn the ball over at a high rate because it’s always in his hands. Are others like Josh Smith and Danny Granger more deserving? Maybe. But this isn’t about team records or even teams themselves. This is an individual honor. And when it comes to point guards -- especially in the Eastern Conference -- D-Will is right behind Derrick Rose as the best in the game.

Do you agree? Lets us know in the comments section.