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Atkinson: Lineup changes coming as defense falters

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Minnesota Timberwolves Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Atkinson was not happy post-game Saturday. The usually buoyant personality, always looking for the best, was missing. In its place, some muted anger. And he plans to do something about what he’s seen, like make changes to the line-up, the starting lineup

“I just don’t think our defense [was good enough]. It just wasn’t acceptable,” he told reporters in what may have been his most negative post-game assessment. “I don’t think we contested shots, our physicality was below average. We talk about having a road mentality. We didn’t have it.”

So, he said, he and his staff will look at what might work better.

“We’ll look at it. I think it’s something we’ve got to look at it. We’ve got to find the guys that want to defend and distribute the minutes proportionately, appropriately. I think that’s where we are. I think we’ve had a streak here where we’re not defending. That’s not acceptable. That’s not the type of program we’re trying to run.”

Over the last few games, putting aside the rest component, the Nets have started Spencer Dinwiddie at the point, Randy Foye at the 2, Trevor Booker and Bojan Bogdanovic at the forwards and Brook Lopez at center.

Atkinson has used his bench early and often. In fact, the Nets bench scoring has been No. 1 or 2 in the NBA in recent weeks with Isaiah Whitehead, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert, Sean Kilpatrick getting minutes. No word yet on RHJ.

“No update, no update. We’ll let you know,” Atkinson said in same meeting with reporters.