Lionel Hollins, who has often been critical of his team's mindset, told WFAN's Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts Thursday that he sees a change of late.
"Our mental spirits are really turning and changing. We've become a closer team," Hollins told Joe and Evan. "You watched the game against the Knicks, guys were on the floor. You watched the game last night, at the end of the game for the biggest play of the game, you had Brook, you had Joe and you had Deron all on the floor going for a loose ball. And when you start getting that attitude, it's contagious and you can build up off of it.''
"I would have been happy and proud of them if we had lost because I could see the spirit changing and I see us becoming a more together team -- not a better team, but a more together team. So to get the win definitely escalates our ability to believe in each other."
The Nets coach also talked about Joe Johnson's "selfish" comment, how he approached it ... and how Johnson feels now.
"My thing is if you've got an issue with your teammates," Hollins said. "Go talk to the people you have issues with because that's the manly thing to do, and work it out rather than go on publicly and obscurely making a comment. But he did and we talked about it. He understands. He feels bad about it, and we have overcome that and we have come back.
"It's all part of the growth process and the maturing process. I didn't want to go through it, but going through that has helped us as we've moved forward to be a closer team, and to be a more transparent team with each other, and to understand what it means to be a family, what it means to have conflict and to overcome it, because we are committed to each other and we are committed to winning."
As for the game-tying three by Danny Green at the end of regulation, Hollins admitted he should have defended it better.
"We were trying to play out on the 3-point line and we got confused," Hollins told WFAN. "The mistake that I made was I probably should've taken Brook out and had another small guy in the game so that we could've just switched everything, and just played it that way.
Still, they won.
- Lionel Hollins Interview (Audio) - Joe Benigno & Evan Roberts - WFAN
- Lionel Hollins: Joe Johnson's comments helped Nets - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Hollins: Lopez should have sat out big play - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York