The Backyardigan
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        Last year Deron Williams averaged 21 points per game and 8.7 assists. That was with a subpar cast around him. This year he has a six time all-star, Joe Johnson, joining him in the backcourt and Gerald Wallace, an excellent and aggressive defender and solid offensive player at the small forward position. Williams and Wallace played 16 games together last year. In the time Wallace spent in New Jersey, his points per game rose to 15.2 (13.3 with Portland) and his three point field goal percentage to 38.5% (26.5% with Portland). That is what happens when you go from a Raymond Felton caliber point guard to a Deron Williams caliber one. No disrespect to Felton, but he is not near the elite level that Williams is in.

       Joe Johnson had a bounce back season last year shooting the ball. He averaged 18.8 point per game and his three point field goal percentage was 38.8%, nearly 10% higher than the previous season. Expect both those numbers to go up. Joe Johnson's point guard last season was Jeff Teague, who was in his first full season as the Hawks' starting point guard. He did a solid job and the stability at that position helped Joe's numbers. Now imagine what his numbers will be with an All-NBA and gold medalist point guard on his side. Last time Joe Johnson had a point guard at Williams' level was Steve Nash in 2004. His last full season with Nash resulted in 17.1 points per game, 46.1% from the field, and 47.8% from three point land. Those are ridiculous numbers that can be recreated with Deron Williams. Williams is a good slasher and Johnson is a good three point shooter from the corners. Also, Johnson is a good playmaker so the pressure will no always have to be on Williams to create offense like it has been most of his career. They will complement each other nicely.

    Johnson and Wallace are 31 and 30 respectively. Most people would expect a decline from them at this age but do not be one of them. They have a point guard fresh off a gold medal run with Team USA and he just received a new contract. Williams may very well be their fountain of youth.

Source for statistics: NBA.com

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