Throughout their first season in Brooklyn, one question has hung like an anvil over the heads of the Nets: what happened to Deron Williams?

It turns out the answer may have simply been his aching ankles.

Since returning from a two-game hiatus before the All-Star break, Williams has looked like the kind of player the Nets thought they were securing when they locked him into a five-year deal for just under $100 million last summer.

Though Williams finished with a more modest 17 points and six assists in last night’s 93-80 win over the Hawks after his 42-point explosion, including 11 3-pointers, in Friday’s win over the Wizards, he was just as in control of the Nets (37-26) and their offense.