NBA.com Blog: Deron Williams
Posted May 15 2007 2:06PM
Deron Williams, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2005 Draft, has adjusted quickly to life on basketball's biggest stage. After starting in 47 games as a rookie, Williams started at the point in all 80 games he appeared and earned third most votes for the 2007 Most Improved Player award, increasing his scoring average to 16.2 ppg, up from 10.8, and his assists to 9.3 compared to 4.5 in his rookie season. Williams is playing in the postseason for the first time in his young career and will blog on NBA.com as long as the Jazz remain in the playoffs.
Trying To Make The Western Conference Finals
Posted by Deron Williams on May 15, 2007, 1:00 p.m. EDT
I want to thank you Utah Jazz fans. Weíre happy to be back in the playoffs for you all and hopefully weíll bring home a championship.
MY FIRST PLAYOFFS HAVE BEEN EXCITING
The Playoffs are definitely exciting. Itís been a great experience so far trying to get ready every day and learn new things every day. Itís just a different intensity from the regular season. Guys are playing so hard right now and leaving everything out on the floor. Itís a lot more physical right now, a lot more fouling going on. Itís tough because weíre playing teams four, five or six times in a row. Everybody knows everybodyís plays, so itís just whoever can execute better and whoever can make the plays and shots down the stretch is going to win. We just need to keep winning. Thatís the main thing ó we just need to keep winning.
I donít really get nervous, but my first game against Houston I was excited and wanted to get the win. To get ready for each game I try to do the same thing as I do during the regular season: On the road I go to shootaround. When I come back I always watch a movie and go to sleep, then get up, eat and go to the game. I do the same thing every game. At home itís basically the same, but at home I donít really watch a movie, I just play with my kids or whatever and go to sleep.
ON WINNING GAME 4 IN OAKLAND
It was huge to get a win out there. They had been so good at home. We knew we needed to try to steal one to have the advantage and we were able to do that. We had a great fourth quarter. It was a total team effort. Our guys hit big shots for us and we closed out the game, which is something we struggled with during the season and weíve been able to do in the playoffs which is great for us as a team.
Any arena right now, in the playoffs, is going to be loud. Itís going to be tough to go into and get the win. You have to have mental toughness. When that crowd gets going, you have to do something to quiet them: hit a big shot, get a stop or something like that, like we did in the last game. We took a lot of the energy out of their fans in the fourth quarter.
TRYING TO CLOSE OUT THE SERIES TONIGHT
Getting the win tonight is definitely important. Tonight we consider it a must-win for us because we donít want to give them any more confidence. Weíre up 3-1 now and a win in our building would do a lot for their confidence and it would hurt us a lot. So, our mindset tonight is that we have to come out and have a strong first quarter and first half and get the win.
KEEPING PACE WITH THE WARRIORS
We like to run. We like to get out and get layups and things like that. But if we donít have a layup or a good, wide-open shot, weíre going to pull it out and run our offense and make them guard us. Thatís how we play. We canít get into a track meet with them because we canít win at their pace.
I think itís a misperception that we play a slower game. People donít watch us so they just think because weíre the Utah Jazz we donít score. We averaged over 100 points a game in the regular season. We still do pick-and-rolls and all that, too, but we get out and run.
WINNING GAME 7 ON THE ROAD AT HOUSTON
It was definitely hard because we hadnít gotten a win all series on their court. We came close but we just couldnít get it done in the fourth quarter. We found a way to hunker down and we made all the plays. We made the stops when we needed them. And we got a win. It was huge for us, huge for the franchise and it definitely gave us a lot of confidence.