MILWAUKEE -- As the rest of his teammates went through their usual pregame routines, getting ready for Wednesday night's game against the Bucks, Deron Williams sat at his locker with his headphones on while using his iPad.
The season-long bumping and banging had finally taken its toll.
Williams missed the game with a bruised right wrist, sitting out for the first time this season. It's an injury the Nets point guard has been dealing with since early in the season, and aggravated it in Tuesday's loss to the Celtics when he took a hard spill. He could miss more than one game.
"It kind of flared up throughout the season," coach Avery Johnson said before the game at the Bradley Center. "It seems like every time he falls, he falls directly on it. We'll continue to evaluate him on a day in and day out basis and see where he is next home game."
Williams, who was replaced in the starting lineup by C.J. Watson, has been banged up all season, dealing with injuries other than his wrist. He's been nagged by elbow and ankle injuries as well, refusing at times to even acknowledge them.
Whenever the subject of him possibly sitting out to rest his ills was broached, he shrugged it off.
To him, it was never even an option. But after conferring with trainer Tim Walsh Wednesday, the Nets felt this was the best way to go about getting their All-Star healthy.
"We talked to him earlier," Johnson said. "Tim checked him out. Tim just thought at this stage, it was a good night to sit him. I agreed. Deron wants to play. He's a tough guy, but hopefully this game will give him a chance to recover a little more and get back to being full strength."
Williams' shot has been inconsistent and he's had very little confidence in it, often passing up open looks. He's shooting just 39.8 percent from the field and an ice-cold 29.6 percent from three-point range.
He downplayed how the wrist injury may be affecting his shot, but Johnson said he has no doubt that's part of the reason why Williams is so off.
"Any time a guy has a problem with his shooting hand and his shooting hand is not 100 percent, I'm sure that's going to have some sort of effect," Johnson said. "It's kind of like a tennis player if they are righthanded, I'm sure their backhand or their forehand is going to be affected if they are having wrist issues. I think it's something that he'll get through. But hopefully we'll have other guys step up and play."
The biggest trick for Johnson Wednesday night was making sure the Nets' ballhandling didn't suffer with Williams out, particularly after they turned it over 20 times a day earlier against the Celtics with Williams.
"They've got to do a better job," Johnson said. "I told our guys before one game. I said, 'If you are a dealer in Las Vegas, your hotel would go out of business because you always show your cards. You'll show your hand. So if you want to pass one way, you've got to look the otherw way.'
"So hopefully we will do that."