The Brooklyn Nets have a 7-1 record since P.J. Carlesimo replaced Avery Johnson as head coach on an interim basis.
Despite speculation regarding his job security, Carlesimo has been the new voice Brooklyn needed while retaining most of the strategies of Johnson.
Deron Williams, who openly discussed his struggles adapting to Johnson’s system, praised Carlesimo on the job he’s done to turn Brooklyn’s season around through eight games.
“He’s just done a great job,” said Williams. “He gets on everybody from top to bottom when they’re not playing well and they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. He’s not shy about that. At the same time he’ll talk to you. He’ll tell you what you’re doing wrong nicely and after the game or before practice he’ll talk to you. He’s done a great job of defining roles and letting people know what they need to do out there on the court.”
According to Brook Lopez, the move was the wake-up call the Nets needed to pick up the intensity on both sides of the ball.
“Our lull wasn’t one guy’s fault obviously,” said Lopez. “It was definitely a collective effort, just like if we were winning. The blame went to one guy and he lost his job. We had to refocus, reevaluate, and see what we were doing wrong as a team and an organization. I think we’ve made changes and we’ve been playing with a lot more energy, and a lot more defensive energy especially.”
As a result, Carlesimo led Brooklyn to history on Jan. 11 by winning their third consecutive game by more than 20 points for the first time in franchise history.