Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Deron Williams unavailable again
By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams will miss his third straight game Wednesday with a strained right calf, but is still listed as day to day, the team said.
Williams hurt his calf in the All-Star Game and has been bothered by the injury ever since. He aggravated it during the second quarter of Friday night's win in Charlotte and was forced to miss the rest of the game.
Coach Avery Johnson said Williams is feeling better but not well enough to play against Toronto Wednesday night. Williams also sat out Saturday night's loss to Houston and Monday night's loss to Milwaukee.
"I'm hoping that we can get him in one of these games this week (on Friday or Saturday)," Johnson said. "But the main thing is I don't want him to come back and then kind of injure it a little bit more, and then he's gotta miss three weeks or a month."
Williams is averaging team-highs of 22 points and 8.1 assists. Backup Jordan Farmar will start in his place for the third straight time.
Wednesday marks the Nets' final game before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET league trade deadline.
The Nets appear to be in the driver's seat for Orlando center Dwight Howard's services, but Howard said Tuesday that he wants to finish the season with the Magic, perhaps because he wants the Nets to retain all of their assets when the team moves to Brooklyn in 2012-13.
Howard is expected to opt out of his contract at the end of this season and become a free agent.
If the Nets do not make a blockbuster trade by the deadline, they're likely to acquire cap space so they can afford to sign Williams, Howard and impending restricted free agent Brook Lopez.
The Nets (14-29) are 4-15 at Prudential Center, yet they're only 4½ games behind the Bucks and New York Knicks, who are tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.