2011-2012 stats (with Chicago): 49 gms, 24 mpg, 37% FG, 39% 3-pt FG, 2.1 rpg, 4.1 apg, 0.9 spg, 2.0 to, 9.7 ppg.
2011-12 was Watson’s best season in his 5-year NBA career. He began the season as a backup to reigning MVP winner Derrick Rose. But when Rose went down with many injuries over the course of the year, Watson stepped into a starting role on a team that was coming off of an Eastern Conference Finals appearance. Watson led the team to earn the 1-seed in the east, beating out the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat. Of course, Watson wasn’t the only reason why the Bulls played well in the regular season. They also had Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, and others. But the fact that he was able to lead a team of that quality at the point guard position is impressive. In the playoffs without Derrick Rose, the Bulls lost in the first round to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. Watson’s stats are not eye-popping, but they are very good for a backup point guard. Watson is not a great scorer, but he can hit open 3′s, and 4 assists is a very nice number for someone with 24 mpg.
Offseason report: Signed 2 year, veterans minimum contract with Nets, did a lot of charity work
C.J. did not have quite as busy an offseason as many of his Nets teammates did. After Deron Williams re-signed with Brooklyn, he was able to recruit C.J. Watson to come to the team to back him up. C.J. says that a phone call from Deron is what convinced him to come to Brooklyn. Watson says that he has always thought that Williams is the best point guard in the NBA and he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to back him up, especially with all the hoopla surrounding the brand new Brooklyn Nets this season. Aside from basketball, Watson did a lot of work with his charity, the Quiet Storm Foundation (Watson’s nickname is Quiet Storm) in the offseason.
Predictions for 2012-13: Watson will not get as much playing time as last season, but he will play well when needed.
Watson will not be as important to the Nets next season as he was for the Bulls last season. He will probably not start many games, and may not get as many minutes because of all the good guards the Nets have. I am hoping that C.J., along with D-Will, can mentor rookie Tyshawn Taylor into becoming a valuable piece of this team. I am looking forward to seeing some 3-guard lineups with the Nets next season, featured Watson at the 1 and D-Will at the 2. This will let Deron score more, because most of the time he will be focusing on finding open teammates. The best case scenario for C.J. is that he will fit well into the Nets’ offense and the team will not miss a beat whenever Deron Williams comes out of the game. The worst case scenario is that Watson turns out to be another Sundiata Gaines, shoots too much, and has too many turnovers, but I will be very surprised if that happens.
Projections for 2012-13: 9 ppg, 3 apg, 2 rpg, 1 spg, 1 to, 40% FG, 40% 3-pt FG.