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Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Deron Williams' ankles not in pain

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams, who has battled injuries all season, says his ankles don't hurt and claims he can dunk.

During the week he was sidelined because of inflammation in both ankles, Williams did a three-day juice cleanse, regaining energy and getting bad toxins out of his system. He also received his third set of cortisone shots in both ankles and felt better as a result.

"My ankles don't hurt," Williams said Tuesday. "We finally got the injections in the right spot, and they feel a little bit better. I can actually walk up and down stairs and run around with my kids. I can go to the playground with them. I don't have to hurt every time I take a single step. So, yeah, I feel a lot better. I can dunk."

As for actually dunking in a game, Williams remains cautious.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm still nervous."

Williams is 0-for-1 on dunk attempts this season. He tried to dunk on Nov. 23 but was emphatically blocked by Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin and fell on his right wrist.

Williams' last dunk came on April 13, 2012, against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Williams said he dropped a couple pounds of water weight during the cleanse but claims he hasn't altered his diet this season. USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo had criticized Williams, saying the star point guard was "not in the best shape" when he aggravated his ankles during training camp for the Olympics.

But Brooklyn general manager Billy King told reporters in Indiana that Williams was just one pound heavier than he weighed when the Nets acquired him from the Utah Jazz in a blockbuster trade.

In seven games since the All-Star break, the 28-year-old Williams is averaging 21.7 points, 7.1 assists and 4.0 turnovers per game while shooting 43.8 percent from the field, 45.5 percent from 3-point range and 89.5 percent from the free throw line.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.