From Henry Abbott, a Trail Blazer fan, we get this about Deron after talking about last night's game as well as talking about AK, Matthews, and Okur. It's what I've been saying only put much better.
Notice the Jazz player I didn't single out for his stats in the paragraph above. Their one All-Star: Deron Williams.
Early in the game, he used his speed and strength to breeze into the paint again and again, but missed several layup attempts -- several were altered or blocked. He also threw an easy pass out of bounds on a miscommunication with Kirilenko, and missed a 3 near the end of the half. There were just 11 or so minutes left in the fourth quarter before he made his first field goal.
But Williams was brilliant.
He's an all-star point guard, with a track record of scoring in the lane and from long-range. None of the Blazer defenders could stay with him. Last night was an opportunity for him to prove that he's playing the best of any NBA point guard right now.
But he didn't make it about him. Williams had a team working nicely on offense, and he alternated between letting the machine run on its own (look how many assists his teammates had) and nudging it along when it needed help, finishing with 13 assists. At times he retreated almost to half-court, without the ball, to keep his defender from mucking with his teammates' offense. He managed the clock smartly at the end of quarters. And when the Blazers snuck within ten in the closing minutes, he calmly got to his spots and hit shots that are easy for him -- a free-throw line jumper off a screen, a catch-and-shoot 3, and ... when Portland was hanging around within nine with a minute-and-a-half left, he burned up the shot clock down to six seconds before beating Jerryd Bayless (and a helping LaMarcus Aldridge) with the layup that ended things.
A lot of point guards can score. Several can get 13 assists. A few can be All-Stars. But it takes a very special one to know it's OK sometimes to fade into the background and let your teammates do their thing.