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Deron Williams gets praise from Scott Skiles, Jason Kidd

Illini fans can check on Williams’ progress tonight when the Jazz (4-2) battles the Bulls at the United Center. Utah played in Toronto on Friday and won 99-84. Williams played 26 minutes and scored 15 points while handing out 6 assists.

Utah coach Jerry Sloan, one of the greatest players in Bulls history, recognized what Williams was getting into and gave him a break by opening the season with well-traveled Keith McLeod starting at point. Williams came off the bench to produce 18 points and 3 assists in his NBA debut against Dallas.

He hasn’t been spectacular, but Williams played well enough to earn some positive reviews.

“I like him. I liked him in college,” Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. “I think he has the ability and upside to be a very, very good pro point guard. He’s strong. He shoots the ball well enough. He’s quick. It seems like he’s got a nice way about him out there, the way he conducts himself and runs the team.

“There are three point guards that went high (Williams, New Orleans’ Chris Paul and Charlotte’s Raymond Felton) and they’re all good. So far all three of them have played very well.”

New Jersey point guard Jason Kidd had good things to say when Utah played the Nets this week.

“I saw him in the NCAA Tournament,” Kidd said in the Bergen Record. “He took big shots, found the open guy, played defense, played both sides of the ball. So he has the total package.

“If he is (the next Kidd), I wish him the best of luck. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

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