D-Will has been plagued by ankle injuries in recent years…
Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams is confident that he will be a different player this season as he feels he is under zero pressure with experts writing him off.
Williams has been plagued by ankle injuries in recent years but he underwent off-season surgery to clean out both of his ankles and feels better for it.
As a result, he insists that he finally feels healthy and is confident in his ability to produce this season ahead of the opener against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
“Everybody’s pretty much written me off,” Williams told the team’s official website. “People say I’m never gonna be like I once was. I’m on the downhill. And so what pressure do I have?”
“I’m a lot more confident. I just didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ankles (the last two seasons). They wouldn’t allow me to do the things I was capable of doing.”
Williams missed 17 games last season due to injury but that wasn’t the only issue as he averaged just 14.3 points and 6.1 assists per game in the appearances he did make which were his lowest numbers since his rookie season back in 2005/06.
His performances in pre-season suggest that he is on the comeback after shooting 50 percent from the field as well as having a near 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Team-mate Kevin Garnett believes that he has “the looks of a man who is out to prove something”.
Meanwhile, coach Lionel Hollins also revealed that Williams has been more vocal in pre-season and has taken on a leadership role, and that will be a huge boost to the entire team as they look to compete in the Eastern Conference and make the playoffs.
However, Hollins will need his big names to stay healthy if they are to achieve success, with Williams, Garnett and Brook Lopez all suffering with issues last year and they missed a combined 148 games along with Andrei Kirilenko.