Deron Williams (right) has improved his play since P.J. Carlesimo took over.
With their 113-106 win Tuesday over the Toronto Raptors, the Brooklyn Nets, winners of a season-high seven straight and nine of 10, continue their climb up the standings and are within two games of the top spot in the Eastern Conference. At 23-15, the Nets are a season-high eight games over .500, a mark they haven’t reached since finishing the 2005-06 season 49-33.
This recent surge came on the heels of the December 27 coaching change, when Avery Johnson was dismissed and replaced with interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Carlesimo’s 9-1 start on Brooklyn’s sidelines marks the second-best 10-game start by a Nets head coach. Lawrence Frank began 10-0 after replacing Byron Scott during the 2003-04 season.
Brooklyn is also the only undefeated NBA team in the new year, with each win during their current seven-game win streak coming since January 1.
Highest Offensive Efficiency Since December 28 <<
The Nets’ improvement has primarily been on the offensive end, averaging 102.9 points in 10 games under Carlesimo. In 28 games under Johnson they averaged just 94.5 points and ranked 19th in field-goal percentage (43.8) in that span.
Brooklyn is first in the league offensive efficiency since Carlesimo took over, averaging 111.2 points per 100 possessions.
Six of the team’s 13 100-point games have come during Carlesimo's 10-game tenure, including a season-high 115 points in a win against the Wizards on Janaury 4.
Another weak spot that Brooklyn has turned into a strength is its work on the boards. The Nets have become one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA, outrebounding opponents in six of their past seven games.
Under Carlesimo, the Nets have outrebounded their opponents by an average of 5.6 per game -- only the Pacers, Pistons and Hornets have posted better rebound differentials in that span. They’ve also grabbed more than 53 percent of available rebounds, the fourth-highest mark in that time frame.
Deron Williams By Coach This Season
Point guard Deron Williams has seen his offensive numbers improve under Carlesimo, mainly his jump shooting.
Williams struggled to start the season, shooting just 39.8 percent from the field and under 30 percent from beyond the arc in his first 27 games.
Since then, the three-time All-Star is shooting just under 45 percent and better than 42 percent from three-point range, and his Player Efficiency Rating is more than five points higher than it was under Johnson.
The Nets will aim for their eighth consecutive win Wednesday in Atlanta against the Hawks -- they can tie the Grizzlies for the third-longest win streak in the NBA this season.