YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Utah's Deron Williams is turning heads

Jazz point guard is considered one of the best in the league.

December 10, 2009|By Broderick Turner

There are plenty of exciting, sizzling point guards in the NBA -- Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Jason Kidd among them.

Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz also is considered one of the best point guards in the league.

Williams has yet to make the All-Star team, but he was second-team all-NBA in 2008.

In the eyes of many, Williams doesn't have to take a back seat to any of his counterparts at point guard.

"It feels good to be considered one of the best in the world," Williams said before Wednesday's game against the Lakers. "I'm definitely honored by that. Hopefully I can keep that up there for a lot of years to come."

Williams had 17 points and eight assists, but the Lakers blew away the Jazz in the fourth quarter, 101-77.

Despite the accolades, Williams is not that impressed with how he has played this season.

"It could be better," Williams said. "My percentages could be up a little bit, my turnovers down. But as a team, we're playing well right now. Those are the most important things."

Williams entered Wednesday night's game second in the NBA in assists, averaging 9.3 a game.

He was averaging 18.9 points a game. He's sixth in minutes played, averaging 39.3 a game.

"He's a terrific player," Utah Coach Jerry Sloan said. "When you look at all the things he's able to do, defensively he has very few flaws. The way he can get over screens, he can adjust really quickly on different things for such a young player [25] and I think a lot of those things go overlooked because he's a very good offensive player. But I'd say that's the one thing he's always been good at, but I think he just keeps getting better."

Williams got the experience of a lifetime during the summer of 2008.

He was on the United States' 2008 Olympic basketball team that won the gold medal in Beijing.

"It was my best basketball accomplishment," Williams said. "I got a chance to win the gold medal and be on that team and just compete against those guys every day in practice and a chance to ball with them.

"To win the gold medal was the icing on the cake."

Williams has been in the NBA for five seasons and he has been Carlos Boozer's teammate for that time.

Because Williams and Boozer run one of the best pick-and-roll games in the business, the two are often compared to Jazz legends John Stockton, the point guard, and Karl Malone, the power forward.

"You can't compare us to them," Williams said. "We've got a long way to go. They are two Hall of Famers -- well, Karl is going to be there next go-around.

"Karl is two-time MVP. John is the NBA's all-time assist leader. We've got a long, long way to go before we can be compared to those guys. . . . We have long careers ahead of us."

Los Angeles Times Articles