Things Done Changed: Why The Nets Are Better Under P.J. Carlesimo

Kings Nets Basketball

It’s working. (AP/Frank Franklin II)

The Brooklyn Nets fired Avery Johnson with the team reeling at 14-14, replacing him with assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo and slapping him with the interim tag. However, 13 games and an 11-2 run later, the Nets will likely let the fiery Carlesimo ride out the season before re-evaluating their coaching needs. (You don’t need a source to tell you that one, though for whatever it’s worth, I’ve heard this from two Nets officials.)

But before they re-evaluate, we must evaluate. Why are the Nets so much better? What’s changed? Ahead are five theories on why the Nets are so much better under P.J. Carlesimo than they were under Avery Johnson.

Start Here: Defense


  1. you are looking into this WAY too deeply!!
    from my talks with a previous Nets player ,who was a star elsewhere but got little playing time under Avery–was that the players HATED Johnson and this clearly showed in their lack of enthusiasm after 1 month of play this year
    someone within the nets brass told me at a game last week that the team just tuned Avery out!!
    as former Nets coach from the 90s,Butch Beard told me years ago–the goal is to get your guys to give up their individual goals and fit into the plans to win as a team–extrapolating this comment to Avery–he had no clue how to motivate his players in a Positive way–you dont get anywhere for berating or yanking players out for every mistake!!it doesnt succeed

    in summary,in contrast to what the article says by Mr. Devin–it turns out very simple–the players just hated to play for Avery Johnson and wanted him out as coach!!!

  2. With the defense, I think that the change is very simple; MAKING ADJUSTMENTS. Something Avery NEVER did, and it killed us, especially in the blowout to the Knicks. Never knew how to adjust to Chandler PnR and it was embarrassing. PJ knows how to make adjustments.

    Definitely spot on with the PnR. I was always so frustrated when Avery refuse to run a single one. It’s the toughest play to defend and it the most efficient play in basketball.

  3. This article is spot on. We went from a below average defensive team to an above average defensive team under PJ – that’s a HUGE change. More importantly, we’ve been much better on offense.

    I think you could’ve emphasized the change in offense a little more. There are definitely more pick and rolls but more importantly – there are less post ups/isolations and we push the pace a lot more. We were dead last in pace under Avery – we’ve been creeping up a bit since PJ took over. It’s led to more blow outs and a much better flow on offense. It’s no coincidence that when you put one of the best Pick and Roll PGs and Cs in more PnRs – that good things happen.

    Also on rotations – just to add to what you said – PJ seems to REALLY make an effort to find a unit that’s working. If Hump plays badly, he doesn’t hesitate to bring Teletovic in the game. If Stack struggles, he brings in Marshon. When Mirza and Hump struggled, he went to Gerald Wallace as the back up 4. Players prefer to have very set roles but we have 5 bigs worthy of playing time – so it’s just not going to happen.

    The sad part is PJ hasn’t done anything OUT OF THIS WORLD – he’s made very basic offensive/defensive/philosophical adjustments and it’s made a huge difference.

  4. Reading Devin’s posts are like going to Basketball College.

    Great analysis once again Professor DK.