Under the guidance of Lionel Hollins, the Memphis Grizzlies became a force to be reckoned with in the West, reaching the conference finals in 2012-13, the coach’s final season with the team.
Hollins’ teams were built on the defensive end of the floor. Old-school, no-nonsense coaching proved to be an integral in the development of young players like Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr. The Nets are hoping Hollins can have a similar impact in Brooklyn after Jason Kidd’s stunning departure to Milwaukee.
The biggest challenge Hollins faces this season is getting Deron Williams, who underwent surgery on both of his ankles over the summer, to play like an All-Star again.
Other challenges Hollins faces include implementing new offensive and defensive systems that could take time to learn; figuring out his rotation and whether he wants to go with more traditional or smaller lineups; managing Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett to ensure that they are healthy by the time the playoffs roll around; and developing younger players like Bojan Bogdanovic, Mason Plumlee and Sergey Karasev.
These challenges aren’t going to be easy. But expect the veteran Hollins to attack them head-on. He has a proven track record, and the Nets, who lost Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston via free agency, need him to get the most out of the players on the roster.
Of note: Individual tickets for the 2014-15 season are on-sale now and can be purchased either via brooklynnets.com or at the Barclays Center box office.