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Lionel Hollins: Brooklyn Nets more "versatile" than Memphis Grizzlies

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Stephen Dunn

Gary Washburn, the Boston Globe's NBA writer, profiles Lionel Hollins Sunday and cites a comparison he made between his new team and the team he last coached, the Grizzlies.  The Nets, he thinks, are more "versatile," but the Grizzlies "bought in" big time.

"Can’t tell you [the difference between the Grizzlies and Nets], I don’t really know," he said. "Memphis teams [I coached] went from 24 wins to 56 in four years. So obviously the talent grew. It’s not so much that we had so much talent. They grew and meshed together as a team. They bought into a system that worked very well for them. They became very defensive-oriented and pounded the ball in the paint and controlled the paint basically, led the league a couple of times in points off turnovers and points in the paint and second-chance points. That was their strength.

"I see this group maybe being a little more versatile with more outside shooting, more ability to attack the paint with multiple ballhandlers."

Washburn also quotes Hollins on how despite a year off after his unceremonial exit from Memphis, he kept in touch with the game, waiting for his opportunity.

"It’s not like I was dead to coaching — I’m watching TV, I worked for NBA TV, I worked for NBA Radio, and so I never shut down from looking and thinking about the game and what I would do in certain situations. It just flows. It’s what I do. I just took a break and got some physical and mental rest, but now it’s back into the pressure cooker."

In his Sunday column, Washburn also talks about how Donte Greene is hoping for a camp invite from the Nets.