SH Blog: D’Alessandro rips Deron Williams, Jeff Van Gundy questions Williams’ work ethic

What has gotten into the abilities of the once-great Deron Williams?

This is a guy that was once touted as the best point guard in the league during his tenure as a Jazz.

Clearly, that sentiment was still strong over this past summer when he was heavily pursued by teams, before the coveted guard chose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets for nearly $100 million.

Is it a simple case of a lack of effort for the guard, who has been handsomely paid? Or is it, like he said, the difference between a system that works for him and one that doesn’t? Williams is averaging 16.8 points and 8.2 assists – very solid numbers for most point guards – but he’s also shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from the 3-point line, all well below his career averages.

Williams’ poor shooting from the field isn’t necessarily a surprise – he has shot 34.9 percent and 40.7 percent in the two seasons since moving over from Utah – but it is strange that the shot has not improved with a better supporting cast.

The excuse for his poor shooting in the 12 games he played  in the 2010-2011 season could be attributed to his wrist injury that eventually required surgery. Last season, Brook Lopez was injured and the supporting cast was terrible, which forced Williams to become more of a volume scorer on bad shots.

While he has been nicked up for much of this season with various ailments, he’s been healthy enough to play and has the proper supporting cast to provide him with better spacing to take higher-percentage shots. Yet, his jump shot has become so suspect that you almost expect him to miss when taking wide-open shots now.

Time will tell if this is a team-chemistry issue or the beginning of Williams’ diminish, which would be very, very bad if you are the Nets, who expected him to be a franchise point guard for many seasons to come.

More about Williams and news from around the league on Thursday can be found below:

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