Pain, no gain

Deron Williams is the Nets' superstar. But is an injured D-Will better than no D-Will?

Originally Published: April 5, 2013
By Beckley Mason | ESPN The Magazine

DERON WILLIAMS, THE NETS point guard in the prime of his career, was about to drive the lane in a March 1 home game against the Mavericks. Just one thing stood in his way: Dirk Nowitzki, hardly a renowned rim protector. Easy decision, right? Speed past the creaky forward for the quick two?

Not exactly. Williams hesitated and, unable to elevate, hoisted an off-balance layup that clanked off the rim and skittered out of bounds. Mavs' ball.

It was just ...

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