P.J.'s influence showing on the court

January, 6, 2013
1/06/13
12:54
PM ET
Brooklyn’s best players clearly enjoy playing for Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, who is 5-1 since taking over for Avery Johnson.

Check these numbers out:

Deron Williams

Under P.J.: 16.7 points, 6.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 turnovers, 42.5 percent shooting, 44 percent 3-point
Under Avery: 16.6 points, 8.0 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 turnovers, 39.8 percent shooting, 29.5 percent 3-point (27 games)

Brook Lopez

Under P.J.: 23.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 59.8 percent shooting, 1.8 blocks
Under Avery: 17.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 50.2 percent shooting, 2.4 blocks (21 games)

Joe Johnson

Under P.J.: 18.2 points, 47.7 percent shooting, 36.8 percent 3-point
Under Avery: 16.9 points, 42.1 percent shooting, 37.3 percent 3-point (28 games)

Sure it’s a small sample size, but it’s an encouraging small sample size going forward.

• Carlesimo has continued to talk about finding a rotation and sticking with it. But the recent play of Mirza Teletovic and MarShon Brooks is going to make it harder for him to do.

Both Teletovic and Brooks are playing with confidence for the first time this season. On Saturday night, when they took shots, you pretty much knew they were going in.

As a result, will Kris Humphries, who has missed the past two games due to a sprained left ankle, find himself out of the rotation? What about Jerry Stackhouse? Will Brooks begin to take some of his minutes?

This is one of those problems coaches say they like having. After all, you can never have enough depth, right?

• Yes, the Nets have beaten up on a lot of bad teams lately. But should that really diminish what they’ve been able to accomplish? No. You play who’s on your schedule. And if there’s one thing Brooklyn has been really good at this season, it’s taking care of bad teams.

The Nets are 12-0 against when facing teams with sub-.500 records. That means they’re just 7-15 when facing teams with .500-or-better records. But remember, they’re a more respectable 7-10 in those games when they have Lopez in the lineup.

Obviously, they were horrendous in December. But when you look at it, the Nets already have wins over the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder (on the road). Pretty impressive.

• For those worried about Andray Blatche post-Avery Johnson, he’s just put up back-to-back double-doubles off the bench. Looks like this kid has his head on straight. His one-year contract will become fully guaranteed on Thursday.

Avery should be commended for convincing GM Billy King that this was a worthy risk. Blatche has been the team’s unsung hero this season.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Joe Johnson
PTS AST STL MIN
15.7 3.7 0.9 35.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 7.0
AssistsD. Williams 6.3
StealsJ. Jack 1.2
BlocksB. Lopez 1.6