It's safe to say that Brooklyn Nets PG Deron Williams was on fire Friday night against the Washington Wizards.  Williams broke the NBA record for 3-pointers in a single half with 9, and broke the Nets' franchise record with 11 threes.  Williams has been carrying the Nets of late, but they're still 2.5 games behind the Knicks.

Williams had 42 in the game, showing signs that he could be returning to all-star form.  Williams is not having a bad season by any accounts, but his numbers have fallen off from last year.  If the Nets have any hopes of winning the Atlantic division, and making a playoff run, they'll need Williams to be at the top of his game.

The Nets' defense will also be key coming down the stretch.  Brooklyn is 5th in the NBA in scoring allowed.  Since PF Reggie Evans has been inserted into the starting lineup, the Nets have been a different team defensively.  Head Coach P.J Carlesimo brought a defensive mentality to the team that has led to the teams success.

The Nets' next few games will be opportunities for the team to gain ground on the Knicks.  Brooklyn will play Atlanta, Philadelphia, and New Orleans in their next 3, which should all be winnable games.

If the Nets remain in that 4th seed, as of today, they would take on the Chicago Bulls in the first round.  If the Bulls are still without Derrick Rose in the playoffs, the Nets should have their way with them.

You can see all Williams' first half threes in the video below.