Lionel Hollins Thinks Brooklyn Nets Don’t Have Advantage Over Atlanta Hawks


The Brooklyn Nets pushed and pushed and now they’re in the playoffs, but the team’s head coach Lionel Hollins doesn’t see the team having any advantage over the Atlanta Hawks.

“They’re a very good team and we have to go out and develop a game plan to control the tempo, rebound and score against them consistently,” Hollins said during a conference call, included in an ESPN report. “We have to develop a game plan that can help us go out and compete.”

It may sound like he’s doubting the team’s abilities to win the series against the Hawks, but in fact, he’s accepting the reality that the Nets have to put together a heck of a game plan to defeat them in the first-round so they can move on to the next round, and that’s the right mentality to go into the playoff season with.

The Hawks play as a team, with their strengths coming from passing the ball around, instead of counting on a few key players to make the shots and win the game for them. This isn’t to say that the Nets have absolutely no chance of winning, but that they have to play with their all, mentally and physically, and have to play smart to beat Atlanta.

“They have a lot of quickness at every single position and they play relatively small,” Hollins said. “We have to combat that by doing whatever we can and develop that plan as we go forward.”

Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are three key players on the Nets and they need to play well, but Hollins doesn’t really have any major concern or doubts on any of them.

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“[Deron] He’s controlled the game and he’s gotten the ball to his teammates, he’s playing his role,” Hollins said. “Obviously, he would want to shoot better and I would like him to shoot better, but I don’t go into games thinking a guy plays poorly because he doesn’t shoot well.”

Because the Hawks’ offense is phenomenal, the Nets are going to have to play strong and overbearing defense, without having any fouls or penalties called on them of course. The key to beating Atlanta is not only to execute a strong game plan well, but also to keep them from scoring, because that will throw off their game.

It’s true that a team’s performance differs greatly when they’re in the playoffs compared to the regular season, and the Nets are no exception to that.

“Playoffs are about going out there and playing well,” Hollins said. “Now if you have a team that’s equally as good as you and you’ve been there a few times, then it makes a difference, but even then that team still has to beat you. And I just think that it’s overstated.”

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