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Lionel Hollins eyes his team for the first time, looks for a complete reboot

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Lionel Hollins admitted to having "butterflies" before he stepped on the court at the Nets training facility Saturday morning. It was the first time in almost two years he was going to put a team through (his) paces, but at the end of the first session of two-a-days, he was more relaxed. His team had looked good.

"It was exciting. I actually had butterflies before we came out. It was a good day," he told beat writers at the of the first session, but added, with has become a customary touch of self-depreciation, it wasn't perfect, "My feet are very sore, and my back is very sore."

Hollins said the team had played with "energy" and that he was surprised by their defensive mindset so early in camp.

"They surprised me with their defense, they were really energetic and went after it," Hollins said. "So that’s a plus. Now, can we come and back it up tonight. Can we back it up tomorrow and make it be who we are."

Deron Williams said he wasn't surprised. This is a veteran team, he said. "We realize that we have to be a good defensive team if we wanna win, point blank," said D-Will. "If we’re not gonna be a good defensive team, it’s gonna be hard for us to compete for a championship."

The veteran coach said he was interested in developing a culture of toughness within the team, something he was able to do in Memphis, he joked because "Well, they let me stay for a long time." Seriously, he added, it's about repetition.

"Anything you do in life, it’s all about doing it every day until it becomes who you are. I don’t eat healthy, so I know that."

The big news, although it wasn't surprising, is that Hollins has junked Jason Kidd's system.  Asked what he thought about the system last season, Hollins essentially declined to comment, saying that when he was watching last season as a TV commentator, "I was watching players. I wasn't trying to watch what they did," noting as he has the last two days, "It's really not the same team."

"What I want to do is different from what they did in the past," he said.

Without discussing details, Joe Johnson called Hollins thinking a "new scheme, new system." When asked it was a "total reboot," Johnson readily agreed.

In other news from Day 1, Practice 1...

--Andrei Kirilenko played with the starters, D-Will, Johnson, Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett, according to Williams.

--The Nets planned to play Lopez in both sessions of the two-a-day at least on Saturday. Hollins explained that the 5:00 p.m. sessions only runs for an hour and is non-contact.  Billy King had said earlier in the week he expected Lopez, recovering from double surgery on his right foot and left ankle, to sit the second session.

--Johnson, calling himself a "hot yoga head," said he came into camp lighter than at any time since his "early days" with Boston and Phoenix.  He added that he hopes yoga will extend his career.

--Williams asked how Lopez was playing, said his teammate looked "great," as he has since he's been working out in East Ruttherford the past two weeks.

After Saturday's evening practice, the team will take the court for two-a-days through at least Thursday, with no days off. The Nets first preseason game, vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv at Barclays Center, is a week from Tuesday.  The Nets will board a charter for Shanghai the next day.