Deron Williams picked for U.S. national team
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Deron Williams is about to add another Team USA jersey to his collection.
Just don't expect to see him compete while wearing one right away.
Williams, who'll come off the bench for a third straight game when the Nets (18-22) host the Mavericks (25-19) Friday night, was among the 28 players selected Thursday for the 2014-16 USA men's basketball national team. But playing in the 2015 FIBA World Championships or in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro isn't the issue.
With two injury-plagued seasons on the heels of Team USA's gold medal-winning stretch in 2012, and with Williams saying his body never got a break before his rough start to the Nets' first season in Brooklyn, it's probably not ideal for him to suit up at the world championships in Spain later this year. Especially considering he already has missed 16 games because of injury this season.
"I think it'd be tough given what's going on the last two years for me to play this summer," said Williams, a member of Team USA's last two Olympic squads. "I would love to, but you just got to see how it goes, you know?"
It's similar to this whole new thing of coming off the bench -- for now, anyway. In his two games as a reserve since a two-week absence after undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy, he is averaging 11 points and six assists.
"I feel like I've got to get into a rhythm,'' Williams said, "so these last few games have been good."
"We've been able to take care of our opponents a little early, and then I get those extended minutes. We didn't have a third point guard, and so it's good for me to get out there and get those minutes because we've barely practiced as it is.
"I'm just getting back in shape, and so it's good right now. Like I said, everything's going good with that first group, so why change it?"
KG: Remedies welcome
The Mavericks have their own aging superstar in Dirk Nowitzki, and they gave the 35-year-old a night off Wednesday in Toronto, hoping it will help keep him fresh for the long haul. Sound familiar?
Maybe Kevin Garnett and Nowitzki can exchange secrets, figuring out ways to stay healthy and make sure their bodies don't break down. Garnett has missed five games this season, and the Nets hope those days off will help preserve his body. But Garnett made it clear that his 37-year-old frame doesn't feel much better because of it.
"Absolutely not," he said. "Nineteen years. Sometimes it feels like I've played 50 years here, know what I'm saying?"