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September 1, 2009

Terrence Talks Team

Terrence Williams played with Chris Douglas-Roberts at the Pro Orlando Summer League, and has now run only two days worth of pickup games with most of his Nets teammates. But he already certain of one thing:

Trenton Hassell is, without question, the team's best defender.

"I'm impressed with (him), definitely," Williams said. "There was one time he was guarding me, and I just passed the ball 'cause I was getting tired of him guarding me."

The 2009 No. 11 pick relayed this conclusion while meeting with media after most of the team worked out at the Nets Practice Facility on Tuesday. Though he's officially on Gatorade duty, the rookie is beginning to feel like he belongs after experiences at Summer League, Tim Grgurich's development camp and also playing pickup this week.

Williams' versatility was oft-cited as a deciding factor in June's draft-day decision, and he's slipped in where needed, playing point guard opposite Chris Douglas-Roberts. (Devin Harris is in transit from China, Keyon Dooling's recovering from hip surgery and Rafer Alston should be in by the end of the week.) CDR's been offering tips on pick-and-roll play, and Dooling has stayed in Williams' ear with advice since first meeting the rookie two weeks ago while rehabbing under trainer Tim Walsh's supervision.

Terrence Williams at Practice

From the sideline, Dooling praised Williams' passing, and Williams said that general manager Kiki Vandeweghe offered a similar commendation. The GM lauded T-Will for a driving dunk, but expressed interest in seeing it happen more than once. That echoed a sentiment first spoken by Clippers guard Baron Davis at Grgurich's camp in Las Vegas.

"(Baron) taught me the best lesson because I think sometimes I get too passive with the ball," Williams recalled. "He taught me when Im going to the hole to go to the center, draw the foul, try to get the and-one -- keep your eyes on the rim. Stuff that you were taught when you were younger, but he reiterated it to me and pounded it in my head. For a guy thats been in the league this many years to stay after every day of the camp and show me new things youre in Vegas, you could go anywhere it just meant a lot."

Admittedly itching for camp to begin, Williams has been working out daily in New Jersey from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. most days, returning late night to shoot. He acknowledges it's lonely living at times, but that he enjoys "crafting (his) art." And also that it's easier to focus on basketball without the crowded schedule of college life.

Williams knows he's in for a competitive preseason as he attempts to establish himself among the team's many wing players. Though Williams can play 1, 2 or 3, he starts the year with at least two players ahead of him at each position. But don't think that'll be a source of conflict:

"Thats fine," Williams said. "At the end of the day, were all maybe fighting for minutes, but were all also fighting for the playoffs."

Williams mentioned being impressed by CDR, explaining it thusly:

"I was always a fan of his game when he was at Memphis to be honest. watching him being drafted in the second round, I got mad at that, even though I didnt know him. Im just impressed with what he does because were both playing point guard. Hes teaching me things and he scores the ball real well."

So what makes him so hard to guard?

"The herky-jerky. Hes from Detroit. Most Detroit players are long and lean like that and can handle the ball. It may look like, 'What is he doing?!' But hes getting to the hole and scoring."

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