This past Sunday, Kobe Bryant made his return to the court after being out for eight months with a torn achilles. Well on Tuesday, star point guard Deron Williams returned to the court after missing 11 games with an injured ankle.
However, unlike Bryant, Williams had a great return to the court as he scored 25 points while shooting 62 percent from the field along with seven assists. Then to make his comeback even better, he help to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a nice victory over the Boston Celtics with a final score of 104-96.
While the Nets didn’t necessarily look like a NBA Championship caliber team with Williams back, they certainly looked better with him in the line-up. All game long he did a great job of creating for his teammates which is why the offense seemed to run more smoothly. He did a good job of creating for his teammates strengths, varying from the pick and roll, pick and pop and even a little drive and kick.
When it came to scoring, he played the way I know he is capable of playing. He did a good job as far as shot selection. He made a point to attack the rim and showed the ability to finish at the rim but he also showed his ability to shoot the ball both from mid-range and three-point range. Although it was only his first game back he seemed to find an early balance to creating for his team and scoring for his team.
He also seemed to be in pretty good shape. Now that may not be a surprise to some considering he was only out for 11 games but I was pleasantly surprise. While I didn’t think Williams would be slow or sloppy, I did expect him to possibly be limited because he’s coming off an ankle injury but instead he played 37 minutes, playing hard for four quarters.
Now, keep in mind that this is only one game, while I am happy to see Williams make such a great comeback to the court, I still feel Williams has plenty to prove. Back when he was with the Utah Jazz, he was considered by some to be the best point guard in the NBA, however since joining the Nets his health along with his game have diminished causing him to lose that status. I think this is the year for him to start re-gaining his credibility and get back to the star he used to be.
He may have his injuries issues but he still has the ability to be a game-changer. He still has solid handles, a nice three-point stroke, the ability to take his opponent off the dribble and finish strong at the rim. I think the problem with Williams has been attitude, whether it be about the coaching, the system, teammates or himself. Part of being a great player is learning how to adapt to any situation and have the patience and persistence to get through it. I believe he has the qualities, I just have to yet to see them. After that, my only hope for him would be to stay healthy, if he can stay healthy there is nothing holding him back expect himself.
One thing is for sure, Williams is running out of chances. Only time will tell what he does with the opportunities he has left.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com