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Thursday, February 9, 2012
Deron Williams named to All-Star team

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to

The New Jersey Nets are just 8-19, but that didn't stop point guard Deron Williams from being named an Eastern Conference All-Star.

Williams was chosen as a reserve on Thursday night for the Feb. 26 game in Orlando, and has now made three straight All-Star teams.

"I am very honored to be selected to this year's All-Star game and I would like to thank all of the coaches in the Eastern Conference," Williams tweeted.

This will be Williams' first All-Star Game as a member of the East squad. He was a member of the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference during his first two All-Star appearances.

Williams ranks 12th in the NBA in scoring (20.9 points per game) and tied for fifth in the league in assists (8.6). In the Nets' eight victories, he's averaging 26.5 points and 10.3 assists. Williams was off-target early in the season, but has picked it up since and is currently shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from 3-point range.

"Congrats to @DeronWilliams on making the 2012 NBA ALL STAR GAME. Well deserved," Nets general manager Billy King tweeted.

Williams, 27, is the only player in the NBA averaging more than 20 points and eight assists per game. He has scored 30-plus points four times. Williams' 11 points/assists double-doubles are tied with Suns veteran Steve Nash and Timberwolves rookie Ricky Rubio for the most in the NBA.

Williams has been criticized this season for his poor body language and recently let it be known that he doesn't like playing in Prudential Center. But he hasn't had center Brook Lopez (broken foot) all season, and as a result has had no low post presence.

The Nets have also been plagued by the injury bug more than any other team. They've put out 13 different starting lineups in their first 27 games, and center Shelden Williams is the only Net to have played every game this season.

Williams is the 12th player in Nets franchise history to be selected to the NBA All-Star Game. He joins Jason Kidd (five times), Vince Carter and Buck Williams (three times each), and Kenny Anderson, Otis Birdsong, Derrick Coleman, Devin Harris, Stephon Marbury, Kenyon Martin, Micheal Ray Richardson and Jayson Williams.

Nets rookie shooting guard MarShon Brooks, who was selected to play in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 24 but may not be able to due to a broken toe, also congratulated Williams on Twitter: "@DeronWilliams congrats fat boy!!"

LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade will start for the Eastern Conference.

Joining Williams as reserves are Joe Johnson, Roy Hibbert, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala and Paul Pierce.

Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Andrew Bynum, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin will start for the Western Conference.

The West reserves will be Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Dirk Nowitzki.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to