Last summer there was a bidding war over Deron Williams. People were calling him the best point guard in the NBA. The media has never ben short on hyperbole, but now it appears Williams may be a player that was only good for the very specific system in Utah and might only be a mediocre player at best.
Williams himself admitted, “That system (in Utah) was a great system for my style of play. I’m a system player, and I loved Coach (Jerry) Sloan’s system. I loved the offense there. We could’ve been a really good team. We just weren’t that good defensively as a group.”
The problem is Brooklyn is not running the same type of system Utah used and Williams’ weaknesses in his game are becoming more evident.
Williams’ point production is down each of the last two seasons going from 21.3 points per game to 21 PPG. Currently he is way down to 17 PPG. And that’s not all that’s been slipping. His assists have been decreasing each of the last four seasons from 12.8 assists per game, to 9.7 APG, to 8.7 APG, and now only 8.3 APG.
This drop off in points and assists could be forgivable if his productivity was strong, but his shooting percentage has tumbled dramatically too. In 2010-2011 Williams shot 45 percent from the field, in 2011-2012 he shot 40 percent, and this season he’s only shooting 38 percent from the field. This drop off in performance is mirrored in his 3-point execution that is now below 30 percent from beyond the arc. These aren’t exactly the type of numbers one would expect from a point guard regarded as the best in the league.
The reality is the Utah system played to Deron Williams’ strengths and hid his weaknesses. He is a player that excels in a structured offensive system. Brooklyn’s approach to offense leaves him out of sorts at times and demonstrates why he not only isn’t the best point guard in the league, but why the best years of his career may be behind him.
Photo Credit: Getty