Nets pregame notes: Deron Williams could finally return

Deron Williams. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese.

Deron Williams. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese.

Nothing is official yet, as it is a game time decision, but it sounds like Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams will finally make his preseason debut tonight and it sounds like he’ll actually play. D-Will told Rod Boone of Newsday this morning that as long as there is no setback during the shoot around then he’ll play.

This is a big deal because just last week D-Will was telling reporters that its possible, even likely, that he could miss at least the first game of the season. So not only will he probably be ready for that, but he’ll have a few minutes under his belt which will hopefully help him adjust to the new players a bit faster.

D-Will has been out all preseason with a bruised ankle. He had ankle problems in both ankles last season and needed multiple cortisone shots before he felt any relief. In fact, his pre-All-Star Game and post-All-Star Game numbers were quite different last season as he played much better down the stretch.

D-Will said this morning that the ankle injuries are unrelated though. He attributed last season’s problems with him being out of shape (although I’m not sure how that’s possible as he played in the Olympics during the offseason) and that this year’s issues are the result of a sprain he suffered during practice. Either way, he’s obviously very important to this team and hopefully he can get this injury behind him.

• Kevin Garnett is getting the night off against the Heat tonight. It’s just normal rest though and no injury. Jason Kidd has been very proactive in keeping him fresh. In KG’s opinion, he’s probably a little too fresh though as he would prefer to be out there on the court learning how to play with his new teammates.

• Everyone else who had Wednesday off against the Celtics, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Brook Lopez are expected to play tonight. Wednesday was just a regular off-day for them.

• D-Will has missed all of the six previous preseason games and Shaun Livingston has gotten the bulk of those minutes. Obviously, he would still be playing in preseason even if D-Will was around, but they have been quality minutes, often with the starters, and he’s been impressive so far. In six games, he has 29 assists, 20 rebounds, and has shot 17-of-29. He nearly had a triple-double against the 76ers as he had 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

• Speaking of Livingston, he told Tim Bontemps of the NY Post this morning that he switched agencies over the summer from CAA, which is partnered with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, to Excel Sports. D-Will, Paul Pierce, Mirza Teletovic and Tyshawn Taylor are all Excel Sports’ clients.

• Andray Blatche has potentially been the best player in preseason. He has scored in double figures in all six games even though he’s only started in two of those games.

• This is the final preseason game of the season. The Nets will open the season on the road in Cleveland on Wednesday. They come home to play the Heat on Friday.

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