BROOKLYN NETS - How The Bulls Played For Their Coach Was All The Justification Needed To Fire P.J. Carlesimo.
Many facets of the Nets game failed them down the stretch yesterday. That's perhaps why roughly fourteen hours after the local NBA season ended at Barclays Center, the Nets 2012-2013 inaugrual campaign in Brooklyn has now officially cost them their second head coach. This decision obviously comes swiftly on the heels of Saturday night's abrupt season finale, in which the Nets came up short in Game Seven of their first round playoff series against the Bulls.
It is not hard to determine if interim coach P.J. Carlesimo had a friend in Mikhail Prokhorov. I doubt it - not with Phil Jackson on the market. Although he's not necessarily a front and center guy, the Nets owner is nonetheless demanding with clearly stated, high expectations. Billy King has taken no pause in trying to meet the owner's goal of a championship within five years. After a few years presiding over the roster's brutal reconstruction in New Jersey, Avery Johnson was named Coach of November to inaugurate Brooklyn's first ever participation in the NBA. Less than a month later as Christmas approached, Johnson was unceremoniously fired after the team struggled, and dropped down to the .500 mark. The scuttlebutt was he may have lost Deron William's attention, and the rest of the team began tuning him out. After Billy King's considerable off-season monetary outlay, the GM decided on a proactive measure. P.J. Carlesimo guided the team to a 35-19 record the rest of the way. The team finished its first season in the Borough with a 49-33 overall record, a second place finish in the final Atlantic Division standings, and earned a four seed in the Eastern Conference.
However, after consistently being inconsistent after Game One against the considerably depleted and compromised Chicago Bulls, P.J. ultimately deserved to lose his job. By their own admission, his players didn't execute the prescribed game plan properly. As a coach, when you can't convince your players to do the right thing, it's time to go. Just look at P.J. Carlesimo's Chicago counter-part. Tom Thibodeau impresses his will upon his players, and they respond. They follow his directives to the letter. The Bulls didn't necessarily beat the Nets in seven. They willed themselves to victory quicker than the Nets could get their act together. That's a coaching problem.