Nets Notebook: Carlesimo fine with Wallace’s criticism

Carlesimo, center, has no problem with Wallace, left, sharing his opinion. Credit: Getty Images
Carlesimo, center, has no problem with Wallace, left, sharing his opinion.
Credit: Getty Images

After Sunday’s 25-point loss to the Spurs, Gerald Wallace harped on how the team often struggles when adversity hits.

They were the kind comments interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo likes.

“I think comments of that nature are great,” he said before last night’s game. “I think Gerald in particular, I thought the comments were appropriate and I think that the players responded very well.”

It wasn’t the first time Wallace was outspoken about the type of effort the Nets displayed in a loss

After losing Avery Johnson’s final game on Dec. 26 in Milwaukee, Wallace said he was getting tired of losing and that the team was better than their record. After losing by 20 to Miami, Wallace referenced the team’s tendency to fold under adversity as “typical Nets basketball.”

Each time, the Nets have bounced back with a win. They followed up Johnson’s final game by blowing out Charlotte on Dec. 28 in Carlesimo’s debut and then followed up the Miami loss by grinding out a four-point victory over the Bulls on Feb. 1.

After Sunday’s embarrassing second half, the Nets recovered, at least defensively. Their offense did not score more than 23 points in any quarter and shot 38.5 percent, but the Nets left Indiana with a five-point overtime victory.

Watson remains starter

Rookie Tyshawn Taylor may have finished Monday’s overtime win at Indiana, but it was C.J. Watson who started it.

Despite going 0-of-7 from the field in his second start of the season for Deron Williams, Watson remained as the team’s starting point guard.

Watson played just over 18 1/2 minutes Monday, but played only 21 seconds after the third quarter. His last shot was a 3-point attempt with 7:26 remaining in the third quarter. Twenty-three seconds later, Taylor came in and Watson did not re-appear until there were 21 seconds remaining in overtime.

Watson is shooting a 37.3 percent while averaging 5.4 shot attempts per game this season. He is 2-of-20 in his last four games and 2-of-19 in two previous games starting for Williams.

Despite that, Carlesimo said he wants Watson to shoot more.

“I thought his shots have been, for the most part, good looks,” Carlesimo said to reporters at the morning shootaround in East Rutherford, N.J.

Ex-Knick in street clothes

Wednesday was 10 days shy of the two-year anniversary of the Nuggets sending Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. Three of the players, they received in the deal — Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov — are still on the team.

Denver has roughly $77 million invested in Chandler and Gallinari, who each received contract extensions last winter. However, while Chandler did dress after missing  two straight games with a strained left groin, Gallinari sat out a second straight game with a sinus infection.

Chandler, who is averaging 9.4 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting, has appeared in 16 games this season. The Nuggets won 21 of the 35 games he sat out with a left hip injury.

Gallinari has been more durable this season, as he had missed just two games before last night. He missed the season opener with a left ankle strain and sat out his second straight game with a sinus infection.

Rumor of the day

The NBA trading deadline is next Thursday and with that day fast approaching rumors are flying all over the internet.

In the last week, the Nets have been linked to Charlotte shooting guard Ben Gordon, Atlanta forward Josh Smith and Utah forward Paul Millsap.

The latest speculation comes from ESPN’s Chad Ford, who speculates about Chicago forward Carlos Boozer, who is making $15 million this season and has two years remaining on his contract.

If the Nets actually acquired Boozer, it would mark a reunion with him and Williams. Boozer played five seasons with Williams in Utah, twice averaged at least 20 points and shot over 50 percent in four of five years taking passes from Williams.

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


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