D-Will was simply fascinating tonight, scoring 23 points in the first quarter (on 7-7 shooting from three) and ending up with 42 on 11-16 three-point shooting
Magical. Using that term is just one way to describe just how incredible Deron Williams played tonight, just a few hours after he was called the 17th-most atrocious contract in the NBA by BIll Simmons of Grantland, a noted and consistent Nets-basher. Starting from opening tip, one could tell it was D-Will's night, like it was last season in his 57-point performance vs the Bobcats and 38-point masterpiece vs the Knicks at MSG. At Barclays this evening, he hit his first eight shots from the field, with seven of those coming from beyond the arc. Those shots accounted for a nearly-perfect first quarter in which he scored 23 points, outscoring Washington by nine and manifesting in a 38-14 Nets lead.
As D-Will would space out his points for the rest of the game--eventually setting a NBA record for threes in a half with nine--the Nets' huge lead would dwindle down into the low teens, making a blowout feel more competitive and closer than it probably should have been. That wasn't helped by yet another poor third quarter for Brooklyn in which they just scored 15 points and gave up 25 to a Wizards squad that just wouldn't give up.
To sum up, it was Deron's night and we were just witnessing a stunning game, in which he set both a career-high in threes for a game and an NBA record for threes in a half. Not every night do you actually witness history being made.
Some other observations I had from the game: Other than the fact that Deron had his best game of the season--and possibly as a Net--and that Reggie Evans grabbed 24 (!) rebounds (but was 5-16 from the free-throw line), not much else happened. Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace were really off from the field, Brook was semi-off, and the bench didn't really produce much (outside of Mirza Teletovic nabbing a career-high eight rebounds). Not that much else had to happen. D-Will played with the swagger and pure ability/effort tonight that he has only showed in spurts during his Nets' tenure, and even recently since the All-Star break when his level of play picked up. Looks like a great indicator for the rest of the Nets' season and even the playoffs.
The Nets have a quick turnaround and head down to Atlanta to face off with the Hawks tomorrow night.