Editor’s Note: This article is Jun Pang’s first for Shaky Ankles.
This summer held the most exciting NBA offseason since 2010, and one of the biggest changes took place in Brooklyn, where the Nets arrived with a completely revamped roster. Gone is 73% of the 22-44 2011-12 New Jersey Nets, with only Deron Williams, Keith Bogans, Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, and Kris Humphries remaining. New additions include Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche.
The Nets have a lot of new strengths and weaknesses, and coach Avery Johnson seems like he’ll finally have some talent that can work the system he wants to install. The Nets are as enigmatic as any team in the league, with a ceiling that could reach the Eastern Conference Finals and a basement that ends with a first-round exit. They should definitely be on your “teams to watch” list next year. Read more…
Deron Williams has a pretty good crossover. Here, he finds out the meaning of “what goes around, comes around.”
This week I’ll be ranking who I believe deserves to be a reserve in the 2012 All-Star game. All 14 players, from both conferences, will be lumped together and placed in order—from “totally obvious” (1) to “I guess he could maybe be an All-Star?” (14). Read more…
Every guard in the NBA has an above average crossover in his offensive arsenal. It may not be on Jamal Crawford or Derrick Rose’s level of brilliance, but everybody has one. All are great, all are effective, all are better than any you could dream of creating.Then there’s that guy everyone is always overlooking, Deron Williams. He takes a gleaming diamond from his back pocket when all the other elite ball-handlers are yanking out lint. Nobody else pulls off the lethal cross from 25 feet, with full intention to jack a shot, like him. It’s combining an unguardable move with the type of shot that makes the home crowd’s mouth go dry. It’s one of a kind. It’s beautiful. It’s Deron Williams.
It’s superstar swap time! Here, a hypothetical straight up player for player deal is offered involving two of the league’s best and brightest. Both viewpoints are then processed, and the fake trade’s winner is decided by way of which fan base would ultimately be happier. In this fictional situation, the players are only swapped for a single season of action, with everything else—rosters, coaches, owners—staying exactly the same.
Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams
2010-11 relevant stats:
Paul – 80 starts, 13.9 WS, 23.7 PER, 57.8 TS%, 38.8 3P%, 87.8 FT%, 4.1 RPG, 9.8 APG, 2.4 SPG, 15.9 PPG.
Williams – 65 combined starts in both Utah and New Jersey, 7.3 WS, 21.1 PER, 56.6 TS%, 33.1 3P%, 84.5 FT%, 4 RPG, 10.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, 20.1 PPG
Before the emergence of guys like Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, and Russell Westbrook, the best point guard in the league argument came down to these two. Where we stand right now, Paul has a partial leg up on Williams, and after comparing each of their performances last season, would have to be considered the superior player. His Hornets fell to the then defending champion Lakers in the first round, but the way they played—with Chris Paul leading them in what most thought was a hopeless formality, and inspiring guys like Aaron Gray and Marco Bellineli to believe the only way they could win was to go out swinging on every posession—was nothing short of valiant. On the other hand, Williams lugged himself through a depressing regular season campaign that ended with a bum wrist and the look of a homesick camper yearning for his own bed.
This might be the most useless swap on this list in that there’s no clear winner or loser. Both teams are not very good and both point guards are so superior amongst their supporting cast, that them switching places wouldn’t improve any of either organization’s major deficiencies that have yet to be fixed. Brook Lopez would still fail at rebounding, and the Hornets would still lack a secondary scoring option who other teams have to game plan for.
New Jersey/Brooklyn’s Viewpoint:
Looking at it through the eyes of a front office member in New Jersey, if this trade were offered by New Orleans it’d almost have to be accepted. Acquiring Chris Paul wouldn’t guarantee a playoff berth—same as a full season with Williams—but in all likelihood it would improve the team’s offensive efficiency. Chris Paul is peerless when it comes to making the correct decisions, whether it be in the second quarter or crunch time, and his ability to create open three-pointers for Anthony Morrow, turn Brook Lopez into the second best offensive center in the league, or transform Johan Petro into an All-Star, would be great for Brooklyn basketball. If you think Deron Williams is a better basketball player than Chris Paul that’s fine, I won’t argue. However, what you can’t dispute is the blatant off court popularity advantage Paul holds. New Jersey is on the up and up with Deron Williams, but with Paul, not only could the ceiling be slightly higher, but the world will be watching.
New Orleans’ Viewpoint:
Chris Paul has meant so much to the Hornets’ organization. Last year he had a ridiculous 45.8 assist percentage and was New Orleans’ strategy. Replacing him is a near impossibility, but if you had to pick someone it wouldn’t be Eric Gordon, Steph Curry, or Rajon Rondo. No. None of those guys can fill Paul’s shoes. If you’re talking about a point guard who’s proven he can lead a team into the playoffs consistently, score at will, and provide instant stability, Deron Williams is the closest thing to it.
It’s tough to find a hypothetical superstar swap that’s more subjective than this one. Whoever you like more, that’s who wins. Apart from personal loyalties that would eventually be forgotten, both fan bases would be happy with what they receive. With that being said, I like Paul more, so New Jersey/Brooklyn’s base takes the cake.
In the grand scheme of what’s altruistically important in life, I believe it’s fair to suggest all teachers, doctors, surgeons, and members of the armed forces should be given financial compensation of equal or greater value to that of which is awarded professional athletes. Their actual impact on human life is indisputably greater, more important, and further reaching. Of course, they don’t (and never will) because the businesses they’re in don’t create the billions upon billions of dollars in gross revenue that the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL produce on an annual basis. They also have an uncountable number of members in their labor force, making each worker’s slice of pie much smaller than that of the athlete. Call it sad. Call it unfair. Call it horribly disproportionate. Call it the real world. Read more…
These two don’t look fancy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t formidable. In a span of five dribbles, one TrailBlazer falls over while another turns into cement. Crossing someone over going full speed is probably five times as hard as setting yourself up in the half court and dictating the move’s flow. Meanwhile, not a single drop of Deron Williams’ sweat hits the court.
Off the court Derek Fisher seems like an elegant, well-mannered, respectful man. Step between those lines and he’s an overachieving, tenacious, cheap, unforgiving player. He’s also less skilled than just about everyone he guards these days. I don’t like Derek Fisher. Neither does Deron Williams.
Not entirely sure what is happening here. D-Will gives a simple little left to right cross and in trying to react, Jason Terry crumbles like he was struck by a shotgun from point blank range. It’s one of the worst falls you’ll see from such a subtle maneuver. In a way it’s Deron Williams’ game in a nutshell: no flash leading to a notable outcome; effortless fancy.