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Brooklyn’s “Three Party” includes just about everyone

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets dig the long ball. We learned that last season.

The rise of Brook Lopez from three-point hobbyist to damn-near dead-eye big guy was only the prime example, as the Nets hoisted the fourth most threes in the NBA last season.

But, they also had one of the league’s worst downtown percentage makes from deep, fourth from the bottom actually. Still, Atkinson opened our eyes to what’s, ideally, a part of Brooklyn culture.

Pace. And. Space.

At today’s team practice, we spotted just about every Net on the roster taking (and sometimes making) long range bombs at one point or another.

Quincy Acy, Isaiah Whitehead and Sean Kilpatrick:

Jeremy Lin:

Trevor Booker:

D’Angelo Russell:

And along with Russell, even Timofey Mozgov … and Tyler Zeller, who’s taken exactly two threes in the last four years, missing both:

After practice, Kenny Atkinson said he doesn’t expect Mozgov, Zeller and other bigs to revolutionize their games a la Lopez last season, but they are nudging the bigs to stretch the floor ... as long as it makes sense.

“I do think there are instances in our offense where he (Mozgov) can get behind the line and shoot that shot,” said Atkinson. “We also want him close to the basket to get offensive rebounds. We’re going to have to find that balance. I think he can shoot it. I’d put Zeller in the same bucket.

“Knowing how terrible the mid-range shot is (perceived around the league), guys can go out there and have more space to shoot. They have more time. With these guys, it’s not like physically they can’t get it there, it’s just a matter of the coaching staff embracing it, and then they embrace it themselves.”

So, are they nudging their guys it, if not pushing them?

“Yeah, I think we’re encouraging them,” he continued. “Is that our first option when we come down the court on offense? No. But, when we’re on a pick-and-roll and they get down to the paint, come out to the corner, and they have time and space ... I don’t think they’re taking step back threes or contested threes. I just think it’s part of our belief in the offensive system. We need that space.”

Same with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who Atkinson says is growing into the power forward role, and even played beside Trevor Booker as the 4 and 5 in intrasquad scrimmages.

“It looked pretty good – it looked fast,” Atkinson said of Hollis-Jefferson and Booker teaming up. “We could switch things. It was an interesting look. I think you could see multiple combinations.”

As for Hollis-Jefferson’s jumper, Atkinson said, with confidence, that it’s getting better. He also admits that it isn’t really the combo forward’s game, but if developed, can take him, and possibly the team, to the next level.

“I do think he’s finding his niche at the 4 a little closer to the basket,” said Atkinson. “If he’s wide open, he’s got time and space, and the score is favorable to what we want, he can let it go. I believe in it. I think he’s worked hard on it this summer. I think it’s getting better. But you’ve got to get the mental part, the confidence part with it.”

While that has yet to be seen, there’s no question that Hollis-Jefferson will work on it religiously. Today, he was the last in the gym, along with 20th man Akil Mitchell, both doing what else ... working on their jump shots:

It’s the party that never ends.