AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Perhaps no one is looking forward to the All-Star break as much as Deron Williams.
The Nets point guard has been besieged with injuries since the start of training camp, when he needed a cortisone shot to calm some inflammation in his left ankle. He also has dealt with injuries to his elbow, quadriceps and shooting wrist, seemingly getting banged up each game.
For Williams, who recorded his 5,000th assist Wednesday night, the explosiveness simply hasn't been there lately. He doesn't have much lift whenever he drives into the lane and tries to get a over taller defenders. He has yet to throw down a dunk all season. The lone time he really tried to dunk, he was rejected by the Clippers' Blake Griffin and came crashing down on his elbow.
"Right now, I think he's sore," interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said before the Nets beat the Pistons Wednesday night. "There's no question. Someone like Deron, who played all summer . . . we are beyond the halfway mark, so the guys that are playing big minutes are beat up. They are sore. In his case, his ankle and his wrist. He's had trouble with that the whole year.
"The one good thing that comes from him not going to Houston, as we speak, is getting a little chance to rest up a little bit."
The Nets have fallen in love with the three-point line and that's not necessarily a good thing.
They have hoisted 132 shots from beyond the arc in their past six games, an average of 22. At times, they've been settling too much for threes rather than being aggressive and driving to the hoop.
"It's a real conundrum," Carlesimo said."It's a problem. We have guys who are capable of making shots and you don't want them to not take shots when they are open. But you want to have a better sense some nights of time and score.