In what may turn out to be his last game with the New Jersey Nets this season, point guard Deron Williams will play against the New York Knicks Wednesday night. After seeing Williams shoot during warmups at Madison Square Garden before the game, head coach Avery Johnson told the media that his point guard would be in the lineup for the first time since March 18 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Williams has been dealing with a strained right wrist, an injury that has forced him to miss six straight games. The Nets have dropped five of the six games Williams sat out, including the last two by an average of 18 points.
The injury to Williams has forced Jordan Farmar into a much more prominent role which has clearly taken its toll on the first-year Net. Over the last four games, Farmar has shot just 37 percent from the floor and was benched by Johnson at the beginning of the second half of Tuesday night's 112-87 loss to the Houston Rockets.
Center Brook Lopez has also missed having Williams around. While he did post three 20 point games during Williams' absence, Lopez also suffered through two of his worst games of the season, scoring 10 points against the Orlando Magic and just six against the Atlanta Hawks, only the sixth time this year he failed to score in double digits.
While the Knicks are preparing for the playoffs, Wednesday night's game with their rivals across the river is their own version of a one-game playoff. Since Mikhail Prokhorov took over ownership of the Nets, they have constantly looked for ways to upstage the Knicks and a win in the World's Most Famous Arena over a man that spurned them -- Carmelo Anthony -- would be a nice final tweak.