Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
D-Will thinks Nets backcourt duo will be 'a great fit'
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Deron Williams likes what he's seeing so far from Joe Johnson and believes it's only a matter of time before the two really start jelling.
"It’s been fun playing with him," the All-Star point guard said after Wednesday's practice at the PNY Center. "We’ve got a good group. I think we have a chance to be really good, with him and Gerald [Wallace] on the wings. We have a great balance of scoring, I think we have the makeup to be a good defensive team if we put our mind to it.
"We are just trying to establish good habits in training camp. I’m definitely enjoying playing with Joe. He has a great feel for the game. It should be fun to operate with him."
Williams disputed the notion both he and Johnson must have the rock to be effective. He noted that's not the way things were during his days under Jerry Sloan with the Jazz.
"Everybody talks about we both need the ball in our hands," he said. "No. 1, in Utah, I didn’t always have the ball in my hand. The system we ran, I’d give it up, I’d get it back at the end of the shot clock. I like coming off screens. Now he can handle the ball and I can come off screens freely and vice versa.
"I think we’ll be a great fit together. He had to dominate the ball in Atlanta because he didn’t have any scorers. Same thing last year with me. I had to dominate the ball because it was the only real chance we had."
Williams doesn't think the transition to play with a dynamic shooter like Johnson will be as difficult as some may believe.
"I’ve played with wings that can score in Utah," he said, "and it was more coming from three or four guys as opposed to one or two. And so, it’ll be fun just. It’s like pick your position. I’ve got a lot of weapons out there and let’s just go play. It’s Brook’s night one night, it’s my night one night, maybe it’s me and Joe’s night one night, maybe it’s Gerald’s, you know what I’m saying?"
With so much firepower offensively, the trick will be for the Nets to not pass up open shots. There's a fine line there, one they're trying to figure out in training camp.
"We want to be a good passing team," Williams said. "We want to make extra passes, but there is such a thing as turning down good shots. You tend to do that when you play with a group that everybody can score. It’s like you start being too unselfish. So, it’s only the second day. We’ll get the kinks worked out."