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Here we go again: Deron Williams suffers his third sprained ankle of the season.
Just when he started to find a rhythm and led the Nets to a couple of wins, Deron Williams went down with another ankle injury.
The point guard missed Monday’s game against the Hawks with a left ankle sprain, according to Jason Kidd, who could not provide a recovery timetable other than Williams will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Williams’ left ankle swelled up on Sunday night and he underwent an MRI the following morning.
“I was just told there was a sprained ankle,” Kidd said. “I didn’t see the MRI.”
It is the third time in this short season that Williams has sprained his left ankle. He missed 11 games because of the previous two sprains.
The 29-year-old has had extensive problems with both ankles the last two seasons, basically ever since he signed a $ 100 million contract to be the franchise player. Inflammation and various other ailments resulted in PRP injections and three rounds of cortisone shots in both ankles, rejuvenating Williams’ game for the second half of last season.
Williams then sat out all of training camp and most of preseason in October with a sprain and bone bruise to his right ankle.
“I think it’s tough, especially since he’s been playing at a high level right now,” Kidd said. “And then how much the team has gone in a different direction in the sense of winning games with his output. With him being hurt, he’s probably more or less frustrated.”
Williams, who struggled at the start of the season, was coming off two big games – both victories for the Nets over the Thunder and Cavaliers – when he averaged 25 points while shooting 63 percent.
Still, he has obviously been hampered by pain, and has yet to dunk this season – presumably because of his fragile joints.
Howard Simmons/New York Daily News
Jason Kidd (r.) will have to make due for the time being without Deron Williams.
Last week, Williams acknowledged he had been dealing with an injury but didn’t want to discuss it. Asked how much his point guard has been affected, Kidd said, “I have no idea.”
“The only concern right now is the guys on the court, making sure those guys are ready,” Kidd said. “(On Tuesday), we’ll re-evaluate Deron and see where he is at.”
Kidd, who has lost Brook Lopez for the season with a fractured foot, used his 16th different lineup on Monday against the Hawks, an amazing stat a little over 1/3 into the season.
Shaun Livingston started at point guard with Alan Anderson and Joe Johnson on the wings, while Kidd kept Paul Pierce at power forward. The Nets also recalled Tyshawn Taylor from the D-League on Monday afternoon, just a few hours after sending him down.
“(With Deron out), it changes a lot,” Joe Johnson said. “He’s the guy that has had it going the last couple games and he’s been putting a lot of pressure on the defense, giving guys like myself and Paul and Alan Anderson wide open shots. So if he’s not playing it’ll be tough.”
Williams first started experiencing ankle problems at the 2012 Olympics in London, which US Basketball President Jerry Colangelo later told the Daily News occurred while the point guard was a “little overweight.”
Williams, who dropped about 15 pounds last season with the help of a juice diet cleanse, later acknowledged that weight was a contributing factor to his ankle problems.
“I just needed to get that weight off,” said Williams in October. “Once I got the weight off, the joints felt better. I had more push, more explosiveness.
“Last year was just joint pain from inflammation, probably from me being a little heavy. This year, I sprained my ankle. It was black and blue, puffy, big.”
But if it’s not one thing with Williams’ ankles, it’s something else.