All Deron Williams could do was watch, rendered a high-priced cheerleader.
Williams had another ineffective outing and collected two more nagging injuries in the Nets' 91-83 victory over the Hawks Saturday. With things unraveling in the third quarter and Atlanta charging, coach Lionel Hollins inserted Jarrett Jack and Williams spent the final 14:58 on the bench.
"I was pretty sore," said Williams, who fell hard on his tailbone in the first half and banged his thigh just before halftime. "So I don't know how effective I could've been and I think Coach really kind of saw that. Of course I want to be on the floor. But J. Jack was playing well and the other guys did a great job of closing it out."
After saying two days earlier that he could play better after a rough shooting display in the series' first two games, Williams had another atrocious outing from the floor, going 1-for-8 and totaling three points, seven rebounds and six assists in 26:02.
These new injuries only compound things for him, given that he also hurt a finger in Game 2 when it was hit by an errant pass. "It's frustrating," he said. "It's frustrating for me to be banged up. But we won tonight and that's the only thing that matters."
Williams said he's sore and hopes he's feeling better by the time Game 4 rolls around Monday night. He surely could use some good fortune because he's averaging 6.0 points and has made only 26.9 percent of his attempts, connecting on 7 of 26 shots.
In the Nets' last two games, Williams is 2-for-15 from the field -- numbers not expected from someone who signed a $98-million contract and is pocketing more than $21 million in salary this season. It's as if he has more injuries than made baskets.
"He took a number of bumps and bruises," Jack said. "His back, his tailbone, his fingers, his knee. But the kid's tough. He's resilient. He's battling through it, fighting through it, still giving us some push, that charge for us. So hats off to him, and I'm sure he's going to have a great game coming up Monday. And if not, I'm there to help him out as well."