Jason Kidd was signing autographs at the Nets Store in Coney Island over the weekend when he made a declaration to reporters that he wants Deron Williams to average at least 10 assists per game next season.
“I’m going to push him. I want the best for him,” Kidd told Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News. “When we sit down and talk about goals, team goals and also individual goals, I’m going to push him and I want to get him back to double-digit assists.”
It’s been no secret that the Nets, and pretty much everyone, expects more from D-Will next year with one of the best point guards in the NBA’s history coaching him. Getting back to 10 assists per game, something he hasn’t averaged since 2010-11, won’t be easy though. His assists per 36 minutes peaked at 10.4 in 2008-09 and has dropped every year since to a 7.7 per 36 minutes last season, his worst since his rookie year.
Kidd looks at D-Will’s second half last year and thinks it’s possible though. He noted that once his ankle pain subsided and he lost about 15-pounds, he played much better. That’s true to some extent, but overall D-Will averaged 8.7 assists per game over the final 18 games of the season. That’s still short of Kidd’s expectations even if it was a decent improvement over the 7.5 assists per game he averaged in the previous 60 games.
For D-Will to reach Kidd’s goal, he’s going to have to play better than he’s ever played in a Nets uniform.