P.J. Carlesimo Confident Heading Into Playoffs – Says Heat Aren't Unbeatable

Updated: April 12, 2013

In an interview with Michael Kay and Don LeGreca on 98.7FM yesterday Brooklyn Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo spoke on everything Nets and what to expect in the last week and come playoff time from Brooklyn.

Carlesimo is now tied for the best 50 game start as a coach of the Nets at 32-18 tied with Kevin Loughery in the 73/74 season.  The Nets are having their best season in many years and they continue to fly below the radar in New York.

[blockquote]”Right now the Knicks are the hottest team in the league and playing at an extremely high level and they won our division so I think whatever accolades are coming their way, I think Woody and the team deserves that”, Carlesimo said when asked about why the New York Knicks are getting all the publicity right now and not the Brooklyn Nets.[/blockquote]

The Nets have one week left in the season and Carlesimo is strictly worried about all his players being healthy more than he is about playoff seeding.Joe Johnson gamewinner vs Bucks

[blockquote]”I like where we are at, I think we are going into the playoffs right now and we can continue to keep our guys healthy, Joe Johnson looks like he is back making progress and we still have four games left.  Joe’s got to be healthy, Gerald Wallace got banged up last night and we have been holding Keith Bogans out a couple games to get him back healthy.  My biggest concern right now is the health and we will just deal with whatever we have to in the playoffs.”[/blockquote]

When asked about how the playoffs are different Carlesimo responded the way you want your coach to – with CONFIDENCE.

[blockquote]”Playoffs are all about matchups.  There are matchups that are good for us and there are matchups that are tough ones and I am sure the Knicks and everybody else is in the same mix.  Without question the team to beat in the East is Miami but I don’t think they are unbeatable.  They have proven to be the best team in the league to this point but I think particularly if you got a frontline that can rebound and if you can take care of the ball against them, something we have not done, then I think they can be vulnerable.  It’s gonna take a heck of an effort to beat them no question about that but I don’t think they are head and shoulders above everyone else.”[/blockquote]

The Nets have struggled with the Heat this year and lost all three games by wide margins and Carlesimo knows they can beat the Heat but they have to play a certain way and play to their strengths.Reggie Evans fights for rebound with Chris Bosh of the Heat

Season Series vs Miami Heat

  • 11/07 – BKN 73 @ MIA 103
  • 12/01 – BKN 89 @ MIA 102
  • 01/30 – MIA 105 @ BKN 85

The Nets turned the ball over an amazing 56 times in the three meetings with the Heat and were beaten 56-18 on fastbreak points which are the two strengths of the Heat.

[blockquote]”The quickness factor with Miami, we have some tough matchups both frontcourt and backcourt.  We have an advantage in terms of rebounding but we have not been able to take care of the ball well enough.  We have not been able to handle their pressure well enough to control it.  There are other teams that have similar matchups or similar advantages against us but we do a better job.  The three games we have played Miami we did not take good care of the ball and we didn’t handle their defensive pressure very well so until we prove that I can understand why somebody would say “Hey haven’t proven that they are capable of beating Miami yet.”[/blockquote]

The Nets have not played the Heat since January 30th so there really isn’t a measuring stick that can be used by the way the team is playing right now.  The Nets indeed are playing some of their best ball of the year right now and P.J. knows this.

[blockquote]“I don’t think it is insurmountable and I think our guys realize what it is we got to do.  We haven’t played them in a long time so I think we are playing right now as well as we have played all year.  If we are healthy I like our chances against anybody.”[/blockquote]

Carlesimo was asked about what the main differences between the regular season and postseason and how it changes the teams mentality.

[blockquote]” It’s a different game, you don’t throw it out certainly as there is certainly validity to it.  We have only played Miami three times and we usually play teams on your own side four times.  You learn a lot from the matchups, no question about that, particularly when you play someone four times but the playoffs are a different animal for a lot of reasons.  The biggest reason is, all the regular season factors are out the window, there is  not back-to-backs and one team is not on a 4 games in 5 nights stretch.


There are a lot of factors that go into various games in the regular season.” He continued, “In the playoffs for the most part, other than injuries, all the other stuff is nullified.  It favors a veteran team, an older team, because you don’t play back-to-backs and the travel is not nearly as challenging as it is during the regular season.  There is a lot of things that change the nature of he game.  Then the most important thing is you are playing the same team up to seven consecutive times so its about adjustments and its about matchups. It’s a totally different type of game.  Each subsequent game changes because you react to what happened in the previous game.  It’s a different kind of game.”[/blockquote]

The turnaround in Deron Williams has been a huge topic and when P.J. was asked about D-Will he responded accordingly.Deron Williams shoots on Blazers

[blockquote]”I think he is healthier than he has been all year.  He was playing sub-par physically for most of the year and the biggest difference is he wasn’t shooting the three as well.  Now he is playing at an unbelievable level right now but the biggest difference was – he wasn’t shooting the three very well.  When he started to knock that down like we are accustomed to seeing him do it throughout his career it just made him impossible to guard.


When he is not making the outside shot he still over powers most guards anyhow with his size and he can post them up.  They were just playing off him a little bit and it gave them something they could hang their hat on.  Now when he is shooting the ball as well as he is right now he is basically indefensible.  He is moving with more quickness and explosiveness then he has all year and it is totally related to the injuries.  Without Johnson he has become more aggressive offensively recently and that is why you see the dramatic difference in the numbers.” [/blockquote]

The coach is ready for the season to end and to get things started in the playoffs and let the chips fall where they may against either the Chicago Bulls or the Atlanta Hawks. The coach is ready and the Nets are 12-6 in their last 18 games so things are looking good for a playoff run to be proud of Nets fans.



Leave a Reply