The Avery Johnson/Deron Williams relationship did not end well at all. The Brooklyn Nets point guard is having a much better time with his new coach, PJ Carlesimo. Williams says the system — which he was critical of during Johnson’s tenure — hasn’t changed much, but Carlesimo’s personality and approach has won him the respect and admiration of the locker room. Per the NY Post: “He’s been great for us so far, and I think all the guys responded well to him. I think all the guys like him. He’s done a great job coaching us,’ said Williams, who is averaging 20 points per game and 8.8 assists during the Nets’ four-game winning streak heading into tonight’s game against the Suns at Barclays Center. ‘We lost a head coach, but then we gained another one. He’s coached a lot of teams in this league as a head coach. Like I said, he’s doing a great job.’ Williams had taken shots at Johnson’s system, and the latter was fired soon after. Other than having Williams run a few more pick-and-rolls with Brook Lopez, Carlesimo hasn’t changed much. But the Nets are 6-1 under him and averaging 102.9 points per game, after going 14-14 under Johnson and averaging 94.5. ‘They just have different styles, different coaches, different ways they like to do things,’ Williams said. ‘Our system hasn’t changed much, our defensive principles haven’t really changed much. It’s just how we practice and how we prepare is just a different style. P.J. and Avery have different personalities. … [Carlesimo] gets after it. He’s yelling all practice, all game. But I think guys respect it because he’s a straight shooter. … He’s pretty hilarious. When he’s yelling, it’s still funny. [But] he does a great job of balancing it. It’s not like he’s just screaming all the time. He’s doing a good job of teaching us as well.’ For his part, Carlesimo insists he has changed as little as possible, for continuity’s sake. ‘I think you kind of get a trickle down as you go forward. You make little tweaks here or there,’ Carlesimo said. ‘The system is a very good system that Avery put in, that some of these guys have been running for a couple of years. One of the strengths of San Antonio for years and the teams that were really good for a long time, the rosters didn’t change that much. We had the same 10 or 11 of the 14 or 15 coming back every year. [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] had an expression, he called ‘corporate knowledge.’ We’re just developing corporate knowledge. … I’m a big fan of that same continuity. I like less changes and more continuity.'”
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