If the Brooklyn Nets were to have any shot of beating the Miami Heat in the 2013 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, they were going to need a big series from point guard Deron Williams.
The Nets didn’t get it (Williams averaged 11.2 points on 36.7 shooting from the field) and the team went out in five games. The standout performance from Williams’ tough series was his zero-point (0-9 shooting from the field) performance in Game 2. Many wondered how such a talented player could end a postseason game with a goose egg in the scoring column.
Well, Los Angeles Laker star Kobe Bryant recently suggested to Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated that lost confidence was Williams’ downfall in the contest.
Gotham Chopra, the director of “Kobe Bryant’s Muse”, an upcoming documentary on Bryant, told a story about being with Kobe and watching the Nets and the Heat play. Recounts Chopra, “Deron Williams went like 0-for-9. I was like, ‘Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?’ Kobe was like, ‘I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you’ve just now lost confidence in yourself.’
It’s a fair for point for Bryant to make. Great shooters such as Kobe or, say, Ray Allen aren’t going to stop shooting if they’re having an off night. They believe in their shot and ability to turn things around in a way that Williams didn’t appear to during that playoff game.
Williams might not appreciate Kobe singling him out, but Deron’s performance in that game warrants this type of criticism.