Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo hasn't altered much from former coach Avery Johnson's system, the one star point guard Deron Williams ripped right before Johnson was fired. But the Nets have clearly responded to Carlesimo — none more than Williams himself.
"He's been great for us so far, and I think all the guys responded well to him. I think all the guys like him. He's done a great job coaching us,'' said Williams, who is averaging 20 points per game and 8.8 assists during the Nets' four-game winning streak heading into tonight's game against the Suns at Barclays Center. "We lost a head coach, but then we gained another one. He's coached a lot of teams in this league as a head coach. Like I said, he's doing a great job.''
Williams had taken shots at Johnson's system, and the latter was fired soon after. Other than having Williams run a few more pick-and-rolls with Brook Lopez, Carlesimo hasn't changed much. But the Nets are 6-1 under him and averaging 102.9 points per game, after going 14-14 under Johnson and averaging 94.5.
"They just have different styles, different coaches, different ways they like to do things,'' Williams said. "Our system hasn't changed much, our defensive principles haven't really changed much. It's just how we practice and how we prepare is just a different style.
"P.J. and Avery have different personalities. ... [Carlesimo] gets after it. He's yelling all practice, all game. But I think guys respect it because he's a straight shooter. ... He's pretty hilarious. When he's yelling, it's still funny. [But] he does a great job of balancing it. It's not like he's just screaming all the time. He's doing a good job of teaching us as well.''
For his part, Carlesimo insists he has changed as little as possible, for continuity's sake.
"I think you kind of get a trickle down as you go forward. You make little tweaks here or there,'' Carlesimo said. "The system is a very good system that Avery put in, that some of these guys have been running for a couple of years.
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New York Post | Jan 11