Commentary

Deron Williams only getting better

Even without Carlos Boozer, Utah's star point guard is stepping up his game

Updated: January 26, 2011, 3:13 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider
Deron WilliamsNoah Graham/Getty ImagesJust when we thought Deron Williams couldn't get much better, he's playing the best ball of his career.

If you're looking for someone to blame for the Utah Jazz's recent struggles, don't point your finger at Deron Williams.

The All-Star point guard is frustrated these days, and rightfully so. He's doing all he can to keep the 27-18 Jazz relevant in the Western Conference this season, which is no easy task. Though he may not admit it, he's finding it increasingly difficult without Carlos Boozer at his side. No, Steve Nash isn't the only elite point guard in the West who has missed the company of an All-Star big man this season.

But like Nash, Williams is realizing he can't do it all by himself, despite his best efforts. Instead of wallowing in Boozer's absence, the 26-year-old point guard has responded by playing some of the best ball of his six-year career. Williams' 22.8 player efficiency rating, 59.9 true shooting percentage and 118 offensive rating are all career highs. If he continues at this torrid rate, he'll join Chris Paul as the only players to average 21 points and nine assists since Tim Hardaway in the 1992-93 season for the Golden State Warriors.