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PJ Carlesimo: It's getting easier, particularly for Deron Williams and Joe Johnson

Rob Carr

In interviews posted online Thursday, P.J. Carlesimo spoke about a wide range of topics, but two themes carried across all of them: the Nets are learning how to play with each other and that the East is wide open.

Specifically, Carlesimo said the Nets and his coaching staff are beginning to figure out how to alleviate pressure on Deron Williams and Joe Johnson just as they have alleviated pressure on the team's bigs, particularly Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche.

"As Brook and Andray do more and more the biggest beneficiaries are Deron and Joe," he told Hoopshype. "Now, we're looking to get those guys (Williams and Johnson) some benefits. So far its been more the other way." He added that so far, his backcourt has "gotten very few easy looks."

As for the East, Carlesimo said the Nets have "some north movement in us," but "We got to get on them, get them to keep playing. Still got a lot of ground to make up in the East."

Carlesimo also spoke about his coaching philosophy, particularly during his five years in San Antonio, where he won three rings. He told Jim Rome that stars "empower you to coach. When your best players buy in, they allow you to coach," citing the examples of Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan and Gregg Popovich. "If your best players don't empower you to coach, then you're not going to be in this league for very long." He didn't volunteer any examples and Rome didn't ask him to provide any.

So is Carlesimo a good fit for the Nets long-term? D-Will responded, "I mean, he's been great for us so far. And I think the guys have responded well to him."