Nets-Wizards Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 03, 2013
A coaching change seems to have provided a spark for the Brooklyn Nets. A favorable schedule may keep them rolling for at least another week. Coming off a victory over the best team in the NBA, the Nets look to capitalize on a meeting with the league's worst club Friday night as Andray Blatche returns to Washington to face the Wizards. A 3-10 stretch led Brooklyn (17-15) to fire coach Avery Johnson last week, replacing him with P.J. Carlesimo on an interim basis. The Nets have won three of four since the switch, and they have a good opportunity to keep it up with their next four games coming against teams with losing records - Washington (4-26), Sacramento, Philadelphia and Phoenix. Brooklyn may feel ready for any opponent after beating league-leading Oklahoma City 110-93 on Wednesday. The Nets ended the Thunder's 12-game home winning streak and bounced back after drawing Carlesimo's ire following Monday's 104-73 loss at San Antonio. "To be honest, it helped," swingman Joe Johnson said of Carlesimo's calling for improved ball movement and defensive cooperation. "It translated into the game because we were in a spot defensively that we hadn't been in a while. We was talking, communicating, the ball was moving great, guys were getting wide-open shots and it just kind of played into our hands." It certainly seemed to suit Johnson, who had a season-high 33 points while hitting 11 of 19 field goals, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range. He had been averaging 13.6 points on 38.2 percent from the floor - 8 of 28 from beyond the arc - over the previous five games. Deron Williams is looking to build on a strong performance of his own. The point guard finished with 19 points, 13 assists and five steals Wednesday after mustering eight points and one assist while making 3 of 11 from the floor against the Spurs. A trip to the nation's capital may keep Williams going strong. He's averaging 23.7 points and 10.7 assists over his last three in Washington, compiling 23 and nine in the Nets' 90-84 win in their most recent visit Dec. 26, 2011. No Brooklyn player may be more motivated for this trip than Blatche. Friday's game marks the first against Washington for the reserve big man, who was waived under the amnesty clause by the Wizards this summer after spending seven seasons with the team. He probably won't get a warm reception after he was booed by the Washington fans last season, when he struggled with injuries and conditioning and shot a career-worst 38.0 percent in 26 games. He's averaging 10.9 points and shooting 48.6 percent off the bench for the Nets. Blatche seemed to poke fun at the Wizards while they were 0-12 in November, saying on Twitter that it "Feels good to be part of a winning organization" as the Nets were 9-4. Washington has lost 11 of its last 12. The struggles continued in Wednesday's 89-81 defeat at Indiana as the Wizards had 19 turnovers. "Until we come together as a group, we're going to have our ups and downs through every game," coach Randy Wittman said. Jordan Crawford continues to be a rare bright spot for the Wizards, leading them with 15.9 points per game. The guard had 20 points and seven assists off the bench against the Pacers in his second game back from a sprained left ankle. He's averaging 20.0 points and 6.1 assists over his last eight contests.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker