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At Duke practice, Lionel Hollins seems happ(ier) with Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets

Last preseason, it was hard to get Lionel Hollins to say much positive about his first days of practice. He talked about "tough" days and players talked about the difficulties they were having with his offensive and defensive schemes.  As we now know, Hollins was realizing that he didn't have the personnel he needed.

This year, it was appear, at least early on, that he's happier with what he's got, what he's seeing.  A lot of that, apparently, came from veteran players.

"I just thought it was a very good first day," Hollins said, as reported by Rod Boone.. "It was a lot of energy, it was a lot of talk. A lot of the guys are picking up things and we were able to get through drills quickly . . . The effort was outstanding for the first day. I was pleased."

He also harked back to a year ago.

"Last year was drastic," Hollins said, "because we tried to put a whole new system in on the presumption we had certain type of players that once I got to know them, I found out we didn't have it. And that's what happened to me in Memphis. I came in, I wanted to play a certain way and I found out we didn't have the personnel to play that way. So we had to back up and change."

But not everyone had such a good time. Thaddeus Young had to take Ryan Boatright aside, as Boone writes, because he "apparently felt Lionel Hollins' wrath."  It was a "Welcome to the NBA" moment.

With only the New York Post and Newsday traveling to North Carolina this week --to be joined by SBNation and NetsDaily Wednesay-- the Nets radio broadcast team is filling in with daily videos. The liked what they saw as well, noting how good two back-up bigs looked. .

"We saw one play that stood out during the 5-on-5 drills Andrea Bargnani goes baseline for a dunk. If the Nets can get some offensive production out of ... you know you'll get some offensive production out but if they can get that kind of life out Andrea Bargnani, now 10 years in the league, that's something to look forward too."

"He's 10 years in the league, but you feel he's embracing a fresh start," added Tim Capstraw. "And he has those types of skills.

Capstraw also mentioned Thomas Robinson, who he described as "a physical specimen out there. Up and down the floor, going up to get balls. Just strong, physical, tough."

Carrino noted, "a couple of times guys went down hard on the floor and you asked, 'who was it?' And it was Thomas Robinson."

Meanwhile, Tim Bontemps talked to players about Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young  Said Chris McCullough of his teammate, "The first day I walked in the gym and saw Brook Lopez, I was like, ‘Damn, I finally made it, because I’m in a locker room with him.’"