Everyone knows that the Brooklyn Nets will only go as far as Deron Williams and Brook Lopez can carry them. That was true their first season in Brooklyn, it was true when they traded for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and it’s true even after signing Bojan Bogdanovic. The problem is that both players have been severely injury prone over the last few years.
Well, the Nets new head coach Lionel Hollins expects both players to be healthy and ready to start the season and isn’t shy about running the team through them.
“He’s a point guard,” Hollins said of D-Will to Brian Lewis of the NY Post. “He’s our point guard. Will we play Jarrett Jack and Deron together? I’m sure we will. But that doesn’t mean Deron has to be off the ball. When you have two guys who can handle the ball, it doesn’t matter who handles it, but he’s going to be the primary ballhandler.”
“Brook’s been moving pretty good,” Hollins said. “He’s been in the gym working on his conditioning, working on his game and I’m happy with where he is. Health is a big thing. He’s doing everything now, so I assume he’s going to be ready for the start of the season. We won’t know that until training camp and the stress of going through practice and going through it the next day.”
Deron Williams, at times, has looked amazing in Brooklyn, like he did at the end of the 2012-13 season. But his ankle problems have lingered for two years and it has ruined his consistency and often hurt his confidence too. Lopez hasn’t had consistency issues, but his foot injuries haven’t gone away to the point where he had an unprecedented fourth foot surgery this offseason.
If this team is going to have any chance it is going to need both players totally healthy and playing at all-star levels. Is that even possible anymore? It’s certainly hard to tell. D-Will finally had surgery in both ankles that he probably should have had last offseason and Lopez’s most recent foot surgery is supposed to prevent future foot injuries, but we’ve heard that one before.
It’s good to know that their head coach has faith in both players and doesn’t plan to shy away from either considering both are returning from surgery.