Dave D'Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger takes Deron Williams to task for his recent criticism of the Nets offense, believing that if Williams has issues with coach Avery Johnson just as he did with longtime Jazz boss Jerry Sloan, the problem lies with the player, not the coaches. Nonetheless, Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News questions whether Johnson can keep his job amid the signs of friction with Williams and the team's slump. The Brooklyn honeymoon appears to have ended for the 13-12 Nets, and here's more on a few of their Atlantic Division rivals.
- While Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks are "the most disgruntled players of the bunch," Moke Hamilton of SNY.tv hears that Johnson is on solid footing with most of the Nets, including Williams.
- Avery Bradley, on the mend from surgery on both shoulders, said team trainers are targeting January 2nd for his return to the Celtics, notes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
- Celtics coach Doc Rivers had been planning to wait until Bradley came back to make a lineup switch, but he went ahead and made changes last night, and minimum-salary signee Jason Collins temporarily solved the team's need for an inside presence in his first start. A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com has the story.
- Rookie Chris Copeland returned to the Knicks bench last night with Carmelo Anthony back in the lineup, but it's been quite a journey for the 28-year-old rookie, and Nate Taylor of The New York Times points out that assistant GM Allan Houston was the first within the team's front office to take notice of him.
- Tom Ziller of SB Nation provides his take on five players who would be better off if they were traded, suggesting Raptors power forward Amir Johnson would be a fit for the Spurs.