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How fast can the Brooklyn Nets play?

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Lionel Hollins was clear during his introductory press conference in early July that he wanted to play faster than the Jason Kidd-led Nets did in 2013. "I want to play at a little quicker pace than they even played at, than we played at in Memphis," Hollins said.

The Nets did indeed play at a slow pace last year; the team averaged 93.7 possessions per game, 25th best in the league. An improvement will not be that difficult, but how much faster can the Nets play in the beginning of the Hollins regime?

The Nets did trim some old age from their roster this season, but they aren't a group of spring chickens; Hollins expects to play Kevin Garnett more than 20 minutes per game this season, and while he was reportedly working out this summer six weeks earlier than last offseason, he can't be counted on to play faster than last season. Match that up with fellow starting big man Brook Lopez, who is known for being among the slowest seven footers in the league, and the Nets starting unit can't be counted on to run up and down the floor. A matter of fact, Lopez had an average speed of 3.8 miles per hour last season, the 12th worst mark of players who played at least 20 minutes per game last season, per SportVu data (For what it's worth, Paul Pierce had the second slowest speed, James Harden was the slowest). Garnett only traveled at an average speed of 4 miles per hour, also near the bottom of the league.

The Nets do have some legitimate concern that they lack athleticism this season, as their only real athlete in the rotation is Mason Plumlee who, despite making major strides over the offseason, may not be a major part of the team's offense. To put into perspective, Lopez had a usage rating of 27.1% last year; Plumlee had a usage rating of 17.1%.

No player from last year's team—except for Shaun Livingston, who isn't on the team anymore—finished in the top 100 in average speed during last season for players that clocked at least 20 minutes per game. Jarrett Jack didn't finish in the top half of the league either

There is hope in the numbers for Hollins and his pursuit to run. A four-man lineup of Garnett, Lopez, Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams, the four definitive starters, did play at a faster pace than the average last season ... and that's with D-Will running on bad wheels. The quartet had a pace of a little higher than 96 possessions per game last season, per That would put the Nets right smack in the middle of the league in pace. Despite having doubts about how Lopez and Garnett will hold up this season while playing at a faster pace, the Nets confirmed starters clearly did a fine job of getting more possessions during their fairly small sample last season.

Assuming the fifth starter is Bojan Bogdanovic or Alan Anderson, the Nets would not be slowed down all that much by either of those men starting in the two spot, so the Nets may be able to play at this higher of a pace, at least from the starters.

There are doubts around Hollins' desire to run considering the way the roster is constructed. The Nets are starting two slower players in the frontcourt, but the stats indicate that Brooklyn's core four can push the ball quite a bit. It will be interesting to see Hollins' plan in motion.