Liu Jin, Getty Images
Deron Williams high-fives a young patient as he visits the Shanghai Children's Medical Center on Monday.

BEIJING — Deron Williams isn't reserved when it comes to his role as a backup point guard on the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team.

He's content to play behind starting point guard Jason Kidd, come off the bench and contribute however possible.

He shares credit for his successes to his all-NBA teammates.

And he's anxious to drive and dish whenever called upon.

Williams is joined by fellow reserve point Chris Paul — sometimes with the two splitting time as Kidd's backup, and sometimes with the two sharing the backcourt at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions, with Williams manning the latter.

"I don't think he (Kidd) wants to play 30 minutes a game," said Williams, "so me and Chris are there to give him a spell and provide energy off the bench."

And Williams, who has been racking up assists while taking his turns guiding the U.S. attack, is fine with the cadre of offensive weapons around him.

"Any time you got guys of this caliber around you, it's pretty easy to be confident," he said. "Because if you make any kind of a play, they're going to finish it for you."

He's been making an effort of pushing and penetrating when opposing teams throw up a zone offense, as did Russia in Sunday's exhibition in Shanghai. Williams wound up with five points and a game-high nine assists in that game.

"We don't have much success when we're passing around the perimeter and going back and forth," said Williams. "We're at our best when we're penetrating and making people change directions.

"When I get into the game, that's what I try to do — drop it off. Or maybe my penetration will set up somebody else's penetration."


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