Schedule Helping Nets Get Back on Track
The Brooklyn Nets won their third straight game Saturday night, a 113-93 rout of the Sacramento Kings at Barclays Center, for their best stretch since a five-game winning streak in the final week of November. They have won five of six games since P. J. Carlesimo replaced Avery Johnson as the head coach, and again seem headed in the right direction.
“We knew the type of team we could be,” Deron Williams said, “and now we’re just seeing that come back to life.”
The schedule has helped, with four of the last five wins coming against losing teams. But the streak gained legitimacy with a 17-point rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, and the Nets (19-15) gained traction because of Williams’s resurgence and the emergence of a suddenly potent bench.
“I think we woke up,” Williams said, pointing to Avery Johnson’s firing as the turning point. “I think that was an eye-opener when Coach got let go, that we got to play better. We knew we were capable of playing better. For some reason, we couldn’t get out of the rut we were in.”
If the Nets are to join the N.B.A.’s elite — an aspiration they still have this season despite their December derailment — they will eventually have to beat the good teams, too. But their 12-0 record against losing teams (the best such record in the league) is enough for now to keep them in playoff contention, even with a 7-15 record against winning teams.