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Player Report: Deron Williams
by: Eric Bove
January 7, 2007
If youíre looking for reasons for his success this season, look no further than the fact that he is the leader of the 24-10 Utah Jazz and the 3rd seed in the loaded Western Conference. His high basketball IQ combined with better decision making has led to this wonderful start to his season. Itís no coincidence that when Williams records double digit assist totals this year the Jazz are 9-1. He is the motor that makes this Jazz team go and has Utah fans thinking championship for the first time since Stockton and Malone departed.

The glaring difference between this season and last is Williamsí assertiveness on the court, he has tremendous poise and does not hesitate to take the clutch shot. His increased confidence has come as a result of a four day camp he attended over the summer with John Stockton and not having to worry about competing for the starting job. Last season was an up and down year for Williams along with the rest of the Jazz. A lot of the uncertainty surrounding him last year was the fact that he was hands down the best point guard on the roster yet he did not earn starterís minutes in practice for much of the year. He looked out of shape and unprepared for the NBA game at times and it showed on the court. When Williams started last year the team suffered, but not to worry, those days are long gone. The biggest improvement in Williamsí game besides his decision making and shooting has been his defensive effort. Against the top points in the league Williams has not let a single one of them have a big game. Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups and Jason Kidd have all had good to mediocre games while being guarded by Williams. As a matter of fact, the best game Williams has allowed to an elite point guard was the 17 point, 10 assist performance Steve Nash had in the second game of the season. Deron did get burned by Stephon Marbury on December 18th for 28 points and 8 assists in a loss to the Knicks, although it took a miracle lay-up at the end of the game for the Knicks to pull out the one point victory. That just showed that Williamsí defense is a major factor in their wins and losses.

Another factor contributing to Williamsí turnaround season has been his decision making. Too many times last season on the fast break Williams would go coast to coast and not finish or be stuffed at the rim. This season heís passing on the break more often, which has added to his assist total. However, he has also been pulling up for the three a lot which has contributed to his alarming drop off in three point accuracy. All in all he has improved his transition game, although itís not yet up to par with the elite points in the league.

Williamsí decision making has excelled in the half court offense. It appears he has learned that his offense will not come from taking his man off the dribble; heís not as athletically gifted as the majority of the guys that play his position and this is the weakest part of his offensive game. His ability to catch and shoot off screens and his execution of the pick and roll is a major part of why Williams a better player this year than last. Also, with his increased role in the offense, Williams has been taking care of the basketball. His assist to turnover ratio is up from 2.48 to 3.1 despite the increased amount of time he has been handling the ball. Increased confidence can do wonders for young players and thereís no doubt confidence has played a major role in the breakout of Williams.

Prior to this season, many had forgotten about the second year player out of Illinois. While fans and writers listed their group of top young points in the NBA, Williamsí name was remarkably left out. Last summer Williams said that every time someone doubts him he becomes more and more motivated to improve. Well one thingís for sure, if Williams keeps playing at this higher level he will earn the respect of those that doubt him now.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to celtics310@yahoo.com .

 

John Stockton
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthday: 03/26/1962
52 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Gonzaga Prep
Previous Team: Gonzaga , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #16 in 1984 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
10.8 Pts, 2.5 Rebs, 7.7 Asts


Steve Nash
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 187 lbs.
Birthday: 02/07/1974
40 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. Michaels University
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #15 in 1996 Draft
by the Suns
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
7.0 Pts, 1.5 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Tony Parker
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 177 lbs.
Birthday: 05/17/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #28 in 2001 Draft
by the Spurs
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
16.2 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 6.0 Asts


Chauncey Billups
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 207 lbs.
Birthday: 09/25/1976
38 Years Old
Teams:
High School: George Washington
Previous Team: Colorado , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #3 in 1997 Draft
by the Celtics
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
3.8 Pts, 1.5 Rebs, 2.2 Asts


Jason Kidd
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Birthday: 03/23/1973
41 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Notre Dame St. Joseph
Previous Team: California , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 1994 Draft
by the Mavericks
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
4.3 Pts, 3.3 Rebs, 3.3 Asts


Stephon Marbury
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 182 lbs.
Birthday: 02/20/1977
37 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Abraham Lincoln
Previous Team: Georgia Tech , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #4 in 1996 Draft
by the Bucks
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
22.1 Pts, 4.7 Rebs, 4.6 Asts


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