Brian Lewis, in his report on upcoming GM interviews, also writes that after dumping Lionel Hollins, Mikhail Prokhorov asked Tony Brown ramp up the Nets offense. Prokhorov, writes Lewis, wanted Brown to abandon Hollins’ "plodding halfcourt style" and going to an "aesthetically pleasing uptempo game.".
Brown didn't say Prokhorov ordered the change, but did say "people in the organization" had spoken with him.
"I’ve had conversations with people in the organization," Brown said. "The thought is to try and have a little bit more of an entertaining style of basketball. In order to do that you might have to speed the game up a little bit, especially for our team. That was kind of my mantra going into this thing, trying to see if we could play a little faster, get some easier opportunities that we didn’t quite get early on."
The Nets tempo has stayed basically the same since the coaching change in early January but scoring is up ... and defense is down.
Problem is that there hasn't been any improvement in their record. Under Hollins, the team was 10-27 (.270 winning percentage). Under Brown, they are 3-12 (.200 winning percentage).
One area where the Nets have improved dramatically: three point shooting. The Nets have shot 36.2 percent from long range since January 1 (20 games), good for seventh in the league in three point percentage. Prior to January 1 (32 games), the Nets shot 32.1 percent, 28th in the league.
"My challenge is just trying to get our team to play a different way. We weren’t much of a pace team early on in the season, and I think playing faster will help some of the other pieces on the roster," said Brown, suggesting the change was as much about letting some of the younger, more athletic players play up to their potential.
"So my challenge has always been trying to keep that going. We’ve had stretches where we play well in that environment. We falter a little bit late in games, but the challenge is trying to finish the whole game playing in that kind of environment.’’