Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Avery has no problem with Deron's thoughts on Nets' system
Deron Williams didn't need to have a sitdown with Avery Johnson Tuesday morning to discuss his Monday comments regarding the Nets' offensive system.
"There's nothing to it," Williams said following the team's shootaround at the Barclays Center as they prepared for their matchup with his old team, the Jazz. "[The media] asked me about Utah. I'm not going to bad mouth Utah. I had a great time in Utah. I loved the offense. I've said we've had struggles on offense here, which I've said all year.
"Hasn't changed. My stance hasn't changed. I said I can adapt to any offense and I'm working toward that."
But Monday, Williams voiced some frustrations with the way the Nets operate offensively as he talked about the difference in the system he ran in Utah, swiftly saying "no" when asked if he had become a better player since the Nets acquired him in February of 2011.
"That system, it was a great system for my style of play," he said Monday. "Here, it's just more one-on-one isos. In high school, my coach wasn't one of those guys who would let us just throw out the ball and play. We had a stable of plays that we relied on, with good execution.
"In college, we ran a motion offense, a lot of cutting, lot of passing, lot of screening, so I'm still trying to adjust."
Johnson said he wasn't taken aback by Williams' comments.
"No, not at all," the coach said. "We talk about it. We have great communication. So the comments aren't surprising. And really and truly, guys, I'm 47 now turning 48. I don't take anything personal. I communicate with all my players, constant communication with Deron, Stack and Joe.
"Joe really, really loves what we are doing and he loves it even more that he's shooting the ball better. So whether it comes out publicly or whether the guys talk to me about stuff privately, I've got really thick skin and it doesn't irritate me one bit. So a lot of his concerns, we've talked about it privately.
"You guys are just finding out about it publicly."
So Williams was asked Tuesday if he hopes Johnson will install more sets and motion style-plays.
"I think as a group, we just need to execute better," Williams said. "We have great plays and we've had instances where we've had great offense. So it's not a problem, it's just a problem with consistently executing. We do run a lot of iso plays, which benefit a lot of other people.
"So we are going to continue to run those plays because that's Joe's game. That's where he's most successful at and then Brook [Lopez] on the block as well."
However, Williams did seem like he'd be open to less isolation plays in game-ending situations.
"It's tough," he said. "We've got to find a balance, I think. Joe's been playing well lately and down the stretch. So that the reason why we are running so many isos."
Johnson said the Nets' offense includes some things that Williams enjoys.
"Really and truly, about 30 percent of what we do is what was run with him in Utah. I just think we need to do it more on the floor," Johnson said. "He has the power and the freedom to call the plays that he's most comfortable with, so I think that's what he's going to get back to doing."
Johnson admitted he has to work closely with Williams to make sure he's thriving as much as possible. However, there's a fine line he must balance since the team has plenty of offensive weapons besides his All-Star point guard.
"One of the things that's most important is definitely keeping your quarterback happy and comfortable," Johnson said, "but we've got other pieces of the pie. We've got Brook Lopez, who's pretty good, and Joe Johnson, who's pretty good. They seem to be quite comfortable. So now we've got to get everybody comfortable and once we do that, I think we'll make our mark.
"We were pretty good at one time when we were 10-4 and 11-4. We were scoring the ball pretty good and we were playing pretty good defense. It's just the cycles of the season. But you'll see us run a little more stuff tonight that Deron can really thrive in and then if the shots go down, the everybody is going to feel good."