Reason 42: New Jersey’s one-two punch
With the acquisition of point guard Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz, the New Jersey Nets have paired up their 7’0″ center Brook Lopez with an All-Star floor general. Lopez, who is just 23 years old, has looked superb in just three NBA seasons. He’s put together career averages of 17.4 points and 7.6 rebounds, while starting in all 82 games each of the past two seasons. He’s a force around the rim, and with the addition of Williams, more opportunities could become available for the once Stanford University star. Williams, who’s still entering his prime in his own right at the age of 27, has shown why he’s labeled as one of the best at his position. Since the 2007-08 season, Williams has posted 10.3 assists or more in every campaign. He posted a career-high 12.8 dimes per game in 12 games with the Nets last season. A small sample size, yes. But if it’s any indication, the addition of Lopez could help Williams just as much as it could vice versa. He’s also finally getting the recognition he deserves after being selected as an All-Star in 2010 and 2011. It was always stated that in the Western Conference Deron was left in the shadows with guards like Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Tony Parker. But coming into the East, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo have already established names for themselves as well. It’s unfortunate if Williams gets left in the shadows once again, but he’ll continue to put up superb numbers regardless, while improving the New Jersey Nets when his stint in Turkey, and the NBA lockout, ends.