After Deron Williams mused, in reply to a reporter's question Tuesday morning, that he just isn't worthy of being an All-Star this season, Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo had a direct, unequivocal response to the response:
"He's got to work on his answers."
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Williams was continuing a season-long honest self-evaluation, which included direct and unsparing self-criticism after the big loss in San Antonio, when he had said about the All-Star Game, "I just think there's people playing better than me." (Starters will be announced Thursday night.)
The three-time All-Star, like the rest of the team, has been playing significantly better since Carlesimo took over for Avery Johnson in late December, but his body of work probably does not measure up by most standards against that of Rajon Rondo, Kyrie Irving or others. But as far as the Nets are concerned, Williams is more than fine. He still is the guy around whom their whole team was built.
"I consider Deron an All-Star," said Carlesimo, who is among the more accessible coaches, expansive in his own news conferences. "I've said this 15 times: Deron gets asked too many questions and consequently gives too many answers. I just think you guys should give Deron a month off and let him not do interviews and then he'll be fresh and he'll have better answers the next time. He's like a coach, really. You get the same silly answers from coaches because you ask the same questions in the morning, in the afternoon and after the game. Deron is the same way."
Blatche gets green light
Andray Blatche was originally listed as a game-time decision against the Raptors Tuesday night at Barclays Center because of the illness that has been going around the team, but he told the coaching staff that he felt well and was allowed to give it a go . . . Gerald Wallace was out for a second consecutive game with bruised ribs. He did, however, work out before the game and Carlesimo did not rule him out of playing in Atlanta Wednesday night.
Fields' confidence grows
Raptors forward Landry Fields, who had the most famous couch in New York last year because Knicks teammate Jeremy Lin slept on it during the height of Linsanity, has struggled this season. Entering Tuesday night, he was averaging only 4.3 points on 37.5-percent shooting. Coach Dwane Casey nonetheless is optimistic about him. He said that Fields' problems can be traced to a nerve problem in his elbow, which required surgery. "That affected his shot," Casey said. "They corrected it. He is playing with a lot of confidence, a lot of energy. He's one of our best cutters, running the floor. He has confidence back in his shot again. The surgery has meant everything for him, physically and psychologically."
Deron Williams is a big golf enthusiast who spent much of the summer playing top courses on the East End with Jason Kidd. He tweeted that he got his first career eagle on No. 13 at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton as soon as it happened, and made a long birdie putt in front of a crowd during the pro-am for the Barclays at Bethpage Black.