Nets' run due to P.J. Carlesimo?

Locker room culture, better play from Deron Williams more likely answers

Updated: February 1, 2013, 1:07 PM ET
By Chris Broussard | ESPN Insider
P.J. Carlesimo, Joe JohnsonAP Photo/Kathy KmonicekThe Brooklyn Nets are 13-5 since P.J. Carlesimo took over. But is he really the reason?

All day Wednesday, I heard about what's different with the Brooklyn Nets under P.J. Carlesimo. LeBron James addressed the situation. So did Erik Spoelstra. I asked an Eastern Conference advance scout, and a Nets player as well.

The answer? Not much.

The pre-eminent opinion as to why the Nets, who were an underachieving 14-14 under Avery Johnson, have gone 13-5 under Carlesimo boiled down to this: They're trying harder and playing together.

As far as strategy goes, about the only thing I could get out of the experts is that the Nets under Carlesimo are pushing the ball a bit more and relying less on isolation basketball. And Carlesimo is letting the guys play. Unlike Johnson, he's not calling plays on most of the Nets' offensive possessions.

Hours before his Miami Heat dismantled them for a third time, Spoelstra addressed the new-look Nets.

They look different. It's not because of anything they're doing differently. They're just more cohesive. They look more comfortable playing together.

-- Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat head coach

"They look different,'' he said. "It's not because of anything they're doing differently. They're just more cohesive. They look more comfortable playing together.''

Well, that's bland.

So I went looking for a scout. Surely a scout would give me a more detailed explanation for why the once-floundering Nets have caught fire under their new coach. I was mistaken.


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