Does P.J. Carlesimo deserve to have his “interim” tag removed?
Based on what he has done so far, absolutely.
Since Carlesimo took over for Avery Johnson as Brooklyn's head coach, the Nets are 8-1. They’re currently on a season-high six-game winning streak, bookended by victories over the Thunder in Oklahoma City and the NBA’s best defensive team, the Indiana Pacers.
As a team, the Nets are scoring more points (101.8 to 94.5) and shooting better (45.8 to 43.8) under Carlesimo.
He has also been able to get the most out of the “Big 3.” Point guard Deron Williams has his confidence back, while center Brook Lopez and shooting guard Joe Johnson have elevated their games. And MarShon Brooks has gone from benchwarmer to valuable contributor.
Recently, a league source told ESPNNewYork.com that Carlesimo will “almost certainly” make it to the end of the season.
The Nets are 37 games in, and have already matched their win total (22) from all of 2011-12. Seven of their next 10 games are against teams with records above .500. Good thing they’re playing their best basketball of the season.
Colleague Marc Stein wrote in his Weekend Dime that the Nets are aware of Phil Jackson’s comment to SheridanHoops.com, in which Jackson said he had “no intention of ever coaching again.” Still, coaching sources tell Stein that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov remains undeterred and will pursue Jackson at some point -- just not as soon as many expected.
As Stein notes, Jackson may never be persuaded to coach the Nets because their roster, as currently constructed, doesn’t exactly have championship contender written all over it. (No Jordan-Pippen, Kobe-Shaq tandems here.)
But Carlesimo has gotten the most out of his personnel so far. And in a weak Eastern Conference, maybe the Nets will keep this up and go on a run in the postseason.
That would certainly get Jackson’s attention. Then again, maybe it would mean Carlesimo is the right man for the job after all.
Do you think P.J. Carlesimo should have his "interim" tag removed? Weigh in below.