The Polls Are Open: Did Deron Williams Dunk?

By Lenn Robbins | @lennrobbins

BROOKLYN - The polls will be open until 7:30pm Wednesday night, just before the Brooklyn Nets take on the Charlotte Bobcats in Barclays Center.

The question on the ballot is this:

Did Deron Williams record his first dunk of the season in the Nets 108-95 win over the Phoenix Suns?

“You have to ask him if that was a dunk,” quipped Jason Kidd. “I have to look at the tape.”

We want to know what you think. You can tweet your vote to @LennRobbins. We will calculate the results and tweet them at halftime.

Was it a dunk?

“It was a dunk,’’ said Joe Johnson. “But it wasn’t a dunk you get hyped off of. It was like, ‘OK, he dunked it, all right.’”

Williams’ dunk, or semi-dunk, came with 6:38 left and capped a breathtaking 28-point performance by the point guard. It also was the most vivid sign that Williams has put to rest the ankle problems that plagued him the first half of the season.

Williams will be tested tonight by Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker of the Bronx. Walker is a 6-1, 184-pound coil of quick-twitch muscle.

Walker has averaged 23.5 points in two games against the Nets. Williams reinjured his right ankle on Nov. 20 when he landed on Walker's foot. He sprained it three times before the All-Star break, which had an adverse effect on his confidence.

“I’m definitely feeling better,’’ said Williams. “I’m still not jumping as high, as you can tell, but I’m definitely feeling better and more confident every day. Now I’m just trying to get that confidence to continue.”

Williams is not known as a skywalker but he has one of the deadliest crossover dribbles in the NBA. At 6-4, of course he can dunk.

But until Monday night, he hadn’t. Which brings us to the dunk in question.

He had the ball in the middle of the court on a fast break, with options on both wings. Phoenix’s Ish Smith kept giving ground in the lane. Williams, a pass-first guard, took the ball to the rim.

His dunk will never be confused for one by the likes of Dominique Wilkins, but it got over the rim.

Kidd, not exactly a stellar dunker in his playing days, couldn’t resist the urge to tweak his star guard by questioning the validity of the dunk.

“Coach is supposed to have your back,’’ said Williams. “I can’t do anything but shake my head, man. He’s supposed to say something like, ‘I’m proud of him’ or ‘It’s a monumental moment.’ He was never a dunker in his day.”

The Nets (34-31) are putting an exclamation mark on the season. They have won nine straight at home for the first time since 2006. The Nets will enter tonight’s game in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, one-half game behind the Washington Wizards and a game and a half in front of Charlotte.

The play of Williams has been a huge factor in the Nets' surge. He’s averaged 16.9 points on 47-percent shooting with 5.7 assists and 2.1 steals.

“When he plays like this,’’ said Kidd, “he’s fun to watch.’’

Nets Central

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