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News » Williams happy to be back with team

Williams happy to be back with team

Williams happy to be back with team Deron Williams didn't say whether he ate nachos or if he threw any couch pillows at the screen, but the star point guard had a similar viewing experience as Utah Jazz fans for the team's two games over the weekend. After returning home to Utah to be with his family and an ill daughter, Williams watched Friday's blowout win at Philadelphia and Saturday's down-to-the-wire loss at Cleveland in front of his TV. Reunited with his teammates for Monday's practice ? and for games later this week ?

Williams said he liked what he saw for the most part. Just like a fan. "I thought we played great," he said. "Just looked like a different team both offensively and defensively." The 25-year-old father didn't want to elaborate Monday on his daughter's undisclosed medical condition or situation, which prompted him to leave the team early Friday so he could be with her and his family. But the team captain was more than happy to chat about the play of the Jazz and especially of his rookie fill-in, Eric Maynor. The Virginia Commonwealth University product turned in a double-double in his first start ? the surprising 112-90 win at Philly ? and scored 24 points in his encore performance in the 107-103 setback to the Cavaliers. "He wasn't nervous, but I kind of expected that from him," Williams said of the cool and collected Maynor, who got the starting nod because combo guard Ronnie Price was out with a sprained left big toe. "You can just tell the kind of player he is," Williams added. "I've said since I met him he doesn't carry himself like a rookie. He has a confidence about himself." Williams believes that he, the Jazz and the rookie will benefit from Maynor thriving during his opportunity to see extended court time. The rookie had a decent preseason but hadn't blown anybody's socks off during limited action yet this regular season. That, Williams said, was to be expected because it's hard to get into a rhythm and feel the flow of the game in short spurts as a sub. Williams' absence gave Maynor all the playing time a rookie could dream of. "When you know you've got to play, you know you've got to produce, it's a different story," Williams said. "And I think that's what happened. He knew he was going to get his minutes and went out there and made the most of them." Maynor's success might give Williams, who averages a team-high 39.4 minutes per game, more chances to be a spectator ? preferably while getting a needed breather on the bench, not the couch. "Hopefully," Williams added, "now my minutes can get cut down, because coach trusts him a little bit more." He didn't call into sports-talk radio shows or leave comments on online newspaper stories ? as far as we know ? but Williams had a few more front-row observations from his TV time. The star point guard liked how the Jazz distributed the ball, especially in the win over the Sixers. He liked the team's execution and how multiple players were involved in the offense. He saw that the team can torture opposing defenses when players get to the right spots, set up early, cut hard and "stick with it." Williams also liked seeing guys help out defensively while salvaging a 2-2 road trip. "It's a lot different when you watch on TV," he admitted. "You get to see the whole floor and what's going on." Even though he gleaned a bit from watching from afar, it's an experience Williams doesn't want to repeat. He plans on playing in Wednesday's home game against Toronto and traveling to San Antonio on Thursday. And he was glad to be reunited with his teammates at practice Monday. "It feels good to see them," Williams said. "It's tough when you're home sitting, watching, when you should be there. It's just a different feeling." Williams' teammates felt the same. Carlos Boozer, his teammate for five years now, said the team's "thoughts and all of our hearts are out there with him and his family." Boozer, who dealt with a scary medical situation with his young son and his sickle-cell anemia condition, advised Williams to seek out the best medical advice for his daughter. He also made sure Williams knew the teammates will "be there for him to support him." Added Price: "It's good to see Deron back. Our prayers are still with him and his family. I like to see him back on the court, back around, around all the teammates. It's a good feeling to see that he's OK and that he's in good spirits." They definitely prefer him playing on TV, not just watching it. e-mail:

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Added: November 18, 2009


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