He’s back home.
The ol’ change of scenery.
He’s a different, more mature person and player.
Did I miss one?
When it comes to new Mavs’ point guard Deron Williams, I’m trying on all the sports clichés in an attempt to cobble some optimism out the obvious desperation. Plan A centered around DeAndre Jordan went kaput, and Williams is a role player in Plan B.
That said, I’m trying to forgive The Colony native for turning down the Mavs’ advances back in 2011 and fall in love with him all over again. I watched him play a lot last season and – aside from an abnormal 35-point playoff game against the Hawks – it’s not easy to envision him somehow rekindling his elite status in the league.
But there are legit reasons for optimism:
Part of Williams’ failings with the Nets stemmed from inconsistency. As in, the guy played for four different coaches in five years, from Avery Johnson to P.J. Carlesimo to Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins. Of course, now he’s an older dog learning yet another new trick under Rick Carlisle.
At 31, Williams has clearly lost some burst, maybe even the mythical “step.” As a result, he’s made less drives to the hoop and settled for more jumpers – with disastrous results. Last year he shot only 38 percent, the lowest of his career for a full season. His points per game also dipped to a career-low 13. Once upon an All-Star time in Utah, remember, he averaged 21 points and 10 assists and seemingly got to the rim whenever he dang well pleased.
The Mavs must have a lot of unexpected things go right to be a playoff contender in 2015. Williams is at the top of that list. I’m just not ready to buy his re-birth.
But maybe he’ll play with the proverbial chip on his shoulder?
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.