Former Brooklyn Nets Interim Coach P.J. Carlesimo Could've Kept Job Without Championship

By Mike B. Ruiz
Debby Wong-USA Today Sports

If there’s anything that a head coach in today’s NBA can do to guarantee that he won’t be shown the door at season’s close, it’s to send the powerhouse Miami Heat golfing.

However, former Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said earlier this week after being dismissed following the team’s Game 7 first round playoff defeat, at the hands of the Chicago Bulls , that he believed management was so sure about their decision that “short of winning a championship, it wouldn’t have made a difference.”

Except, had the Nets won that last game against the Bulls, they would’ve jumped on a plane to Miami for a second round date with the Heat.

And the moment that’s realized is the same moment the brakes need to be slammed harder than they would be while playing Chicken on the Grand Canyon.

Since losing the 2011 Finals to Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks, only one team has come even remotely close to giving the Heat a knockout punch in the postseason, and that was the Boston Celtics, who took a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Of the other four completed playoff matchups during that time, the Indiana Pacers were the only opponent to hand Miami two losses in a series.

Even if point guard Derrick Rose does return for the Bulls in this semifinals series against the Heat, which the Heat now lead 2-1, Miami should still be favored with their athleticism, depth and unmatched superstar duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

The 27-game win streak they put together this spring during their 66-16 regular season only validated Miami’s true level of unrivaled talent.

When James, Wade and All Star forward Chris Bosh joined forces in Miami during the Summer of 2010, the goal of teams that wished to compete for titles was to build a team that could beat them in a seven game series.

Whether it’s through stacking up on size or opening up their wallets, every team that wants to legitimately contend for the Larry O’Brien trophy is fully aware that they’ll have to go through the Heat at some point.

Barring an outright mutiny or implosion within the locker room in the next round(s), any organization that fired their coach after sending the Heat home would look about as insane and unreasonable as they come.

Definitely something Carlesimo should’ve considered before speaking.

Mike B. Ruiz is a Brooklyn Nets writer for Follow him on Twitter @mikebruiz or “Like” him on Facebook.

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