clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How steep the Brooklyn Nets learning curve under new coach Hollins?

New, comments
Ronald Martinez

Lionel Hollins is the Brooklyn Nets fourth coach in three years following Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo and Jason Kidd. He's also their seven coach in seven years. Lawrence Frank, Tom Barrise (for two games), Kiki Vandeweghe worked in New Jersey before the team moved.  Different systems, different personalities.

That can't be a good thing.  Now, it's up to Hollins to change all that, to add some stability to the organization.  At age 60, he's the oldest (and oldest school, too) of the group, with the most varied resume', as a championship player, assistant coach, head coach and last year as broadcaster.  And truth be told, he's not facing the pressure either Avery Johnson or Jason Kidd faced in Brooklyn. Expectations have been lowered, at least by pundits.

Mike Mazzeo writes about Hollins and the learning curve and thinks it wouldn't be surprising if the Nets start off slowly (despite a relatively easy early schedule).  There, are Mazzeo notes, a LOT of questions...

What can be expected (of Brook Lopez and Deron Williams after surgery)? Will Hollins run everything through Lopez in the post? Will he run pick-and-rolls with Williams? How much of a role will rookie Bojan Bogdanovic, who has to get acclimated to the speed and style of the NBA game, have? Will he experiment with smaller lineups that feature one big or Williams and Jarrett Jack in the same backcourt?

Hollins does have some advantages. He has ten players returning and one of the players he lost, Paul Pierce, had a long reputation for being a slow starter.  The new coach is prepared as well. He has a record of developing players others had given up on. He treats players equally and he wins. Each of his four Grizzlies teams got better results until he took them to the Western Conference Finals in 2013. As Mazzeo writes...

No-nonsense coaching proved to be an integral in the development of young players like Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr. The Nets are hoping Hollins can have a similar impact in Brooklyn

There will be questions. He can be acerbic and he's going from the NBA's smallest market to its biggest.  Pundits or now, pressure is on. With training camp now only five weeks away, increasingly it looks like the Nets will be a work in process with health ... and Hollins being the key determinants is how fast --or slow-- the Nets start will be .