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Lionel Hollins denies aversion to analytics ... but sometimes will ignore them

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One of the longstanding story lines about Lionel Hollins' dismissal in Memphis was that the analytics-heavy front office saw him as unwilling to accept the game's statistical revolution.  After all, John Hollinger, the former ESPN stats guru is the vice president of basketball operations there.

In a 2013 radio interview, Hollins famously suggested that too much is made of statistical analysis.

"We get hung up on statistics a little too much, and I think that's a bad trait all over the league that's taken place. And the media has done it because it's easy to go to the stats to make a point or to build up a player or tear down a player. Just the analyzing, I see it every time listening to talk show radio. You've got guys spouting off stat after stat after stat. The bottom line is going out and contributing to your team for winning."

But, as Tim Bontemps reports, Hollins denies he disdains analytics but he admits he needs to learn how to us some of the newer tools and sometimes his gut tells him to try something the analytics suggest won't work.

"I’m going to take a breath," Hollins said recently when asked if he uses all the numbers, "and say it’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard because every coach uses stats.

"Now, do I understand some of the stats that are out there that are new? No. But I can learn them."

One example where he admits his gut overrules the numbers is getting the Deron WIlliams - Jarrett Jack combination to work.  It's a combination he still believes in despite statistical evidence to the contrary.

The Nets as a franchise haven't bought into the statistical revolution very much. Jason Kidd had little interest. Nor did Avery Johnson.  And Glenn DuPaul, the team's new director of analytics, isn't even listed on the team's front office directory three months into the job. Among those who are listed: the team's equipment manager and executive assistants to the GM and coach.