P.J. Carlesimo: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez All Deserve To Be All-Stars

Moke Hamilton, SNYNets.com

NEW YORK — Interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo may have only coached the Brooklyn Nets for 11 games, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have an opinion on his players. Carlesimo has been an assistant on Johnson’s staff since Dec. 2011, so he’s no stranger to the organization, but he’s still learning about his team.

Even still, Carlesimo apparently thinks that each of the Nets “Big 3” deserve to make the all-star team as reserves.

The reserves will be announced on Thursday, January 24 on TNT. The league’s 30 coaches will vote for the players in their conference that they believe deserve to make the team. Coaches may not vote for their own players.

Each coach will select two guards, three front court players and then two “wildcard” players.

P.J. Carlesimo

In light of the Nets recent success, Carlesimo was asked whether he thought Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez deserved the accolade. “I think they’re all deserving,” he said. “We’re one of the more improved teams in the league, right now, we’re positioned pretty well and I think individually, they’re all playing well.”

Carlesimo says that he received his ballot today, but since the Nets were preparing for Friday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, he hasn’t gotten an opportunity to look at the ballot. “I really haven’t looked at it,” he said. “I know [Williams, Johnson and Lopez] are deserving but I haven’t sat down, I’ll sit down with the coaches and look at all the other ones. When you look at it, you can kinda figure out guys chances and things like that. ”

Deron Williams (three times) and Joe Johnson (six times) have each been all-star fixtures over the past few years. Williams has made each team since 2010 and Johnson has made six straight appearances dating back to 2007.

This season, each are in danger of seeing their respective streaks snapped. The prevailing sentiment amongst many in the media is that Lopez is more deserving of the accolade and it’s doubtful that the NBA’s coaches would vote two Nets players in as reserves.

Carlesimo, like most, thinks that Lopez—who is looking for his first all-star berth—was hurt by the fact that the NBA has done away with the “center” distinction on the ballot. “I was disappointed when they changed the position criteria because I think that obviously worked against Brook,” he said.

“But that’s the way it is.”

It is, and with no shortage of Eastern Conference players battling for those seven reserve spots, it will be interesting to see how things shake out for the Nets.