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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
What do you think of P.J. Carlesimo?

By Mike Mazzeo

What do you think of the job P.J. Carlesimo has done as the Brooklyn Nets' interim coach?

Do you give him credit for going 20-10 since inheriting a floundering team from Avery Johnson? Carlesimo's Nets have notched victories over playoff-bound Oklahoma City, Indiana (twice), Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Milwaukee (twice) and Denver. He is getting the most out of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, and the team seems to enjoy playing for Carlesimo.

P.J. Carlesimo
P.J. Carlesimo
Or are you frustrated, sick of the blowout losses to Atlanta, Memphis, Houston, Miami, Washington and San Antonio (twice)? You might catch yourself wondering why he didn't play Lopez in the fourth quarter recently, why Mirza Teletovic isn't playing at all or why Reggie Evans is playing so much. And why don't Lopez and Andray Blatche play together?

The proper evaluation on what Carlesimo has done probably falls somewhere in the middle. That 20-10 record is pretty darn impressive. Consider, Lawrence Frank is the only coach in franchise history who equaled that record through the first 30 games of his tenure.

And yet, given how talented this team is, you figure it could be better if Carlesimo made more adjustments, solidified the rotation and ran more motion sets in the halfcourt.

The Nets (34-24) are in a good position right now, fourth place in the Eastern Conference, 1½ games behind the first-place New York Knicks in the Atlantic Division. Can you imagine how much better they'd be if Williams consistently played as well as he did on Tuesday night, when he scored 33 points? If that Williams keeps showing up, the Nets just might be able to reach the conference finals and meet owner Mikhail Prokhorov's expectations.

Barring some sort of massive losing skid, Carlesimo will finish out the season and coach the team in the playoffs. Then the Nets can decide whether they want to retain him or look elsewhere.

But back to the original question: What do you think of the job P.J. Carlesimo has done? Weigh in in the comments section below.