What are the expectations for the Nets?

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Many people figure the Brooklyn Nets aren’t going to be very good this season.

Even people inside the organization are referring to this as a “bridge” or “rebuilding” year.

But Nets coach Lionel Hollins has a different mindset heading into the 2015-16 campaign.

“Nobody’s said wait until next summer,” Hollins said Thursday. “We’re going out and trying to win. Whether we can or not remains to be seen. But it’s not my mindset and the players’ mindset. Whatever group you put together, you’re trying to win. I don’t think you sit around saying, ‘We’ll wait until next summer.’”

Expectations for the Nets used to be about competing for championships. But when asked what his expectations are for this year’s group, Hollins replied, “To go out and be as good as you can be. Where that falls, we’ll see when it comes to April.”

The Nets do have plenty of incentive to make the playoffs -- especially given that they owe their unprotected first-round pick in the 2016 NBA draft to the Boston Celtics.

Is it good to be under the radar?

“It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter,” Hollins said. “If everybody’s talking about you, you’ve got to go do it. If nobody’s talking about you doing it, you’ve still got to go do it. So what does it matter? I mean, you guys, that’s great theater for all the talk shows and all the writers to write about, but as far as my mindset, and hopefully my team’s mindset, it doesn’t matter what people say about you. There’s a lot of people that don’t like me. But it doesn’t matter.”

As far as whom Hollins plans to start and what his system is going to be, that remains to be seen. He did say that he plans to give Jarrett Jack, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Johnson, Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez the first crack of forming the team’s starting lineup.

“I don't have a system,” Hollins said. “Everybody thinks I have a damn system. I don't have a system. I look at what we have as a group and I try to put together something that fits the group, and sometimes it works, and sometimes you have to move and change and go to a different system. But I don't have a system.

“I have some ideas of how I want to play. And we'll try to figure out during training camp whether or not we can.”

The Nets have seven rotation players returning. Hollins is also the first coach in Brooklyn Nets’ history to make it to Year 2.

So can continuity lead to chemistry?

“I don’t think that will help the chemistry,” Hollins said. “Chemistry is something that has to be achieved by the group that is together. It’s good to have guys who know who I am, and I have a feel for them, but still everybody has got to work together, and the No. 1 thing is to commit to the plan, and the No. 2 thing is to make the sacrifices to how we’re going to play for each other, and stick with whatever we’re doing through adversity. Those are the things that happen and we just have to be disciplined. When we get roles, sacrifice and accept those roles, and then be disciplined to stay within those roles going forward, because that’s what defines chemistry, is guys have roles, they accept them, they play them to the max and everybody respects everybody’s role on the team.”

The loss of Deron Williams, whose attitude was viewed as poor inside the organization, could help with team chemistry, an addition by subtraction move of sorts.

“I think that every team has egos,” Hollins said. “Players don’t get to this level without egos. Everybody has their own personal expectations; every team has its own difficulty to coach -- some more so than others; some individuals more so than others. But it’s going to be a challenge any kind of way. And there are going to be guys who initially struggle with roles and struggle with how we want to play and hit up against it. But the whole challenge is to get everybody on the same page.”

Regarding Lopez taking more perimeter shots, Hollins quipped, “Well, if he makes them, it’s fine. He took enough last year.”

Will Lopez be allowed to shoot 3-pointers? “He’s been working on them, so there may be times we might let him,” Hollins said.