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"No excuses" is Lionel Hollins response to Nets woes

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Stefan Bondy and Fred Kerber take a look at the Lionel Hollins coaching style as it applies to the recent play of  two of his three highest paid players ... and it can be boiled down to two words, "no excuses."

"There are no excuses," Hollins said of Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. "They didn’t play very well, and they have to play better for us to be better — or for them to get more playing time and more consistent playing time."

He repeated that line, even more harshly regarding Lopez.

"You have to ask him where his confidence is," Hollins said. "Where is my confidence in those guys that shoot so poorly on the bench? This is a different story.

"We are all professionals. We have to go out there and play, and we didn’t get it done. There are no excuses."

As Bondy writes, this is new territory for Williams, who once joked that he was Billy King's "assistant GM."

"He’s the first Nets coach to call out Williams for his poor play, without offering the tired excuses of injuries and rust," Bondy notes.

Will the tough love approach work?  Impossible to tell.  Also impossible to tell from a fans' perspective is how much physical ailments are affecting the two.  A month ago Monday, he said of Mason Plumlee, "He. Has. To. Play. Better," and it worked.

Williams and Lopez said all the right things after Friday's discouraging loss to India, but whether Hollins got through to either will have to wait until Monday night and the Kings.