Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo was glad to give most of his reserves increased playing time Monday night with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans and Jerry Stackhouse all resting.
As for Andray Blatche?
"Dray was the only one I felt bad about, [but] frankly he needs conditioning, so I thought it was OK," said Carlesimo, who played Blatche 38 minutes in the team's 106-101 victory over the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center. "And he wants to play against these guys, obviously, and that's where he's from."
"It's surprising when you play 38 minutes. ... It did catch me off guard," said Blatche, who scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Blatche, who came in averaging 18.7 minutes per game, was glad to beat his former team. "Definitely," he said. "That meant a lot to me."
The Wizards amnestied Blatche after seven tumultuous seasons. The Nets gave the 26-year-old center a second chance, signing Blatche to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract in the offseason, and he made the most of it.
The Nets will be the No. 4 seed in the East when the playoffs tip off this weekend. Blatche has played in just eight career postseason games and hasn't been there since 2008.
"Playoffs is the best basketball. That's when you separate yourself from other players. That's physical ball," Blatche said. "And you gotta play. You gotta come ready to play."
• Kris Humphries scored a season-high 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 34 minutes.
"We need Hump. We're not gonna be successful in the playoffs unless we get the Kris Humphries that we know," Carlesimo said.
• The Nets are 31-5 against sub-.500 teams (at time of game played).
• The Nets' 48 victories are their most since 2005-06 (49).
• Carlesimo is 34-19 as interim coach, the best start for a coach in franchise history.