Deron Williams Play Plummets In Brooklyn Nets Game 5 Loss To Atlanta Hawks


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Deron Williams’ Struggles Pop Back Up In Brooklyn Nets’ Game 5 Loss To Atlanta Hawks

On Monday night, Deron Williams was lauded as a hero of the Brooklyn Nets. He made a playoff career-high tying seven three-pointers en route to 35 points, playing a big part in the Nets picking up the Game 4 victory and tying their first round series with the Atlanta Hawks at two. In addition to the 35 points, Williams added five rebounds, seven assists and three steals as he was a force on both ends of the court.

This game came virtually out of nowhere for Williams, who had been struggling mightily in the first three games of the postseason. He endured some harsh words from former teammate Paul Pierce and TNT analyst Reggie Miller to start the playoffs and had done nothing to quell them prior to Game 4. His head coach, Lionel Hollins, backed his point guard but even he said he was not the Williams of old; but who really is the same player years after, for good or for bad.

Even with that Williams delivered a vintage Williams performance from his Utah Jazz days as the catalyst for the Nets. He looked to finally turn a corner, and the Nets looked to have a real chance in this series according to many people. But then Game 5 happened, and everything came crashing back down to earth.

Williams reverted back to how he was in Games 1-3, making Game 4 look like the outlier performance and not a trend. He came up short when the Nets could have taken advantage of the series.

The aggressiveness was gone from Williams’ game, as he attempted only eight shots, making two. He scored only five points, as he still hasn’t totaled 35 points in the rest of the series combined outside of Game 4. While he helped out in other categories again with six rebounds and six assists, the Nets need more of a scoring punch from their point guard. He struggled to get his shot going, as he missed both of his three-point attempts as well.

Tonight was not solely Williams’ fault, but his lack of production definitely hurt. Brook Lopez struggled for the first time in the series, making only 4-13 from the field with three rebounds, two assists and three blocks. He had been averaging 21.3 points and 11 rebounds per game entering Game 5, shooting 54.2 percent from the field. Lopez had been a consistent performer for the Nets, and his drop in production was unexpected and hurt the team as well.

What makes it even more disappointing for the Nets is the production they received from role players. Jarrett Jack and Alan Anderson were outstanding off the bench, as the Hawks had no answer for the Nets’ bench duo. The two combined for 41 points on 16-24 from the field, making a lot of damage from the perimeter, knocking down 6-7 from the three-point line. They also added 11 rebounds, six assists and two steals as they are the biggest reason the Nets weren’t blown out of the gym.

Joe Johnson played a helping role as well, scoring 18 points with nine rebounds, four assists and only one turnover in 40 minutes.

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While the Nets had some starters fall short of expectations, the Hawks starting unit was clicking on all cylinders much like they had been throughout the regular season. All five players scored in double-figures, led by 24 from DeMarre Carroll and 20 apiece from Al Horford and Jeff Teague.

While the Nets obviously had some other letdowns tonight, Williams has to be the biggest one. He should have been oozing with confidence after his Game 4 performance, and instead of it carrying over he looked like a totally different player. He came up way short of what the Nets needed if they were to put a real scare into the Hawks, and now face elimination in Game 6 back home in Brooklyn.

You would hope Williams could put on another performance as he did Monday in Game 4, but there has been no sign that you can count on that happening. If the Nets receive another performance in Game 6 as they did tonight from Williams, they can just start packing their bags for the summer now.

Next: Brooklyn Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks 5 Bold Predictions

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