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Brooklyn Nets hoping "re-focus" will help them win "statement" game

Deron Williams says it's time to "re-focus" and win "big game."

Bruce Bennett

Deron Williams was asked Monday if he thought the Nets were still capable of winning big games. After all, they haven't beaten a team with a winning record in a month.

"I think we can still be that team with (hallmark) wins. That's never changed, he said, adding "We need a good win. We were supposed to win those last two games we played. (Charlotte and Cleveland). This would really be a good win."

Williams said that the firing of Avery Johnson on Thursday changed a lot for the team.

"The Avery thing was a big wakeup call to all of us," he told beat writers. "It snapped us out of it. You see what happens when you lose. People lose their job. You know we don't want that. We don't want that to happen to anybody. we kind of refocused I think. That kind of kicked us into another gear."

P.J. Carlesimo called the game against his former boss, Gregg Popovich "a statement game" where the Nets will be able to gauge their success, much like the two Miami games earlier in the season.

Separately, Carlesimo told Stefan Bondy that he truly believes he has a chance to coach the team the rest of the way.

"I do. It is what it is. It doesn’t change the way I’m going to coach anyhow," he said. "If they told me we have a deal, Jeff (Van Gundy) or somebody is coming in next week, you’re going to coach for another week, I’d coach the same way for another week as I would if it turns out I’m here for five years. I’m really not doing stuff that much different, honestly. It might be a big deal how the players react, but it doesn’t change how we do or what we do."

As for New Year's Eve, Kris Humphries is "probable" but Gerald Wallace's status remains up in the air. "If you talk to Gerald, he's probable. If you talk to Timmy (Walsh, the Nets trainer), he's questionable."