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Blood, sweat, cheers: Platelet-rich plasma injections are awesome

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Until league officials classify platelet-rich plasma injections as a form of blood doping, the Nets’ brass ought to make them as regular as lay-up lines.

All of a sudden, after getting plasma therapy on his ankles in mid-February, Brooklyn’s point star Deron Williams looks like a new man on the court.

He has the explosiveness NBA fans saw back in Utah, allowing him to attack the rim instead of settling for the jumper he has struggled with throughout the season.

In the 12 games since the injections, D-Will has dropped 23.3 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting, while adding 7.9 assists and 1.1 steals. In the 12 games prior to the treatment, he averaged 16.4 points on 43.7 percent shooting, adding 7.3 assists and 0.7 steals.

Williams’ newfound confidence was on peak display during a three-point barrage against Washington last week, hitting an NBA record nine treys in the first half en route to 42 points. He looked every bit the franchise point guard he was expected to be when he signed a five-year, $98-million deal last summer. And he looked like a star whose postseason experience, coupled with a spring in his step, could easily guide the Nets past the first round of the playoffs.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy is becoming increasingly common among top athletes to quicken healing. The treatment made headlines in early 2009 when Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward received it before helping the Pittsburgh Steelers win their NFL-record sixth Super Bowl. Doctors take the athlete’s own blood and spin it through a centrifuge that concentrates the platelets, which include growth factors that help the body heal from various injuries. The platelets are then injected back into problem area on the body — in this case, Williams needed help with sore ankles he had complained about in recent months.

So now the question for Brooklyn becomes — can the Nets pull 38-year-old Jerry Stackhouse off the bench, inject plasma into every joint in his body, and turn him loose on the NBA once again?

Matt Spolar is a nearly 6-foot-1 journalist with a middling high school basketball career who is sure the Nets win thanks to team’s top-tier guards.

Updated 10:09 pm, July 9, 2018
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