Of course, Deron Williams’ physique looks more round than swift. But if you’ve ever seen a Jazz fast break, you know the 24-year old point guard is anything but slow.
Though rather a below-the-rim player, Deron packs a diverse offensive game that can net him two points with a floater or three with a near-bench bomb. He has a quick first step and speed that seems to increase past mid-court. When a defender sees Deron gunning toward ’em with that high yet controlled dribble – almost like the rock is a handball (a la D’s all-time favorite player, Jason Kidd) – they don’t know whether to defend the trey, the drive or the pass.
“Being deceptive works to my advantage because guys think they can press me a little more and then I blow by them. I like to push the ball. It’s a big strength of my game.”
– Deron Williams
Actually, Deron Williams was the big surprise of the Chicago pre-draft camp in 2005. The Illinois point guard finished 10th out of 80 players, ahead of top prospects like Chris Paul (16th) and Raymond Felton (18th). In case you wonder what the pre-draft camp is about – there’s a combine that measures four key areas:
1) strength (bench press repetitions of 185 pounds),
2) vertical jump
3) lane agility (how fast a player moves laterally around the key)
4) speed (court sprint)
In the forefront of the camp there have been major questions about Deron Williams’ lateral quickness, but he actually tested quicker than Paul (!) in the lane agility drill and finished .03 seconds behind Paul in the sprint. Williams has lost about 15 pounds and is down to 7% percent body fat, which obviously has helped his athleticism. Here are the complete results for the 3 point guards:
(Name, Bench press, Vertical jump, Lane Agility, Court Sprint, Overall Rank)
Deron Williams, 15, 35″, 10.83, 3.25, 10
Chris Paul, 10, 38″, 11.09, 3.22, 16
Raymond Felton, 6, 33″, 10.50, 3.06, 18
As you can see, Deron Williams has a 35-inch vertical – Lo and behold!
But what can YOU do to improve your vertical?
Well, the combination of weight and jump training may be the most effective ever:
If you are already fit enough, your legs are already quite strong, you can do these weight exercises 2 times a week (i.e. Mondays and Thursdays):
1. Squats – 3 sets x 10
2. Calf Raises – 3 sets x 10
3. Leg Presses – 3 sets x 10
4. Leg Extensions – 2 sets x 20
5. Lunges – 3 sets x 10
In addition you can try these jump exercises (also 2 times a week, i.e. Tuesdays and Fridays):
1. Squat Jumps – 2 sets x 75
2. Chair Jumps – 2 sets x 30
3. Depth Jumps – 2 sets x 15
4. Box Jumps – 2 sets x 20