Nets Roll in Summer League Opener; Ready to Embrace Hollins
ORLANDO – Lionel Hollins is expected to join the Brooklyn Nets here for the Orlando Pro Summer League, but he’s already begun the process of getting a feel for this team.
And the players are getting a read on their new coach.
“He’s old school, disciplinarian, very detailed, hard worker,’’ forward Mason Plumlee said when asked what he’s learned about Hollins. “He demands a lot of his players and that’s the kind of coach you want to play for. You want to play for a coach that you get better under him and it seems like that’s what’s happened with a lot of guys that’s played for him.’’
Moving swiftly and decisively, Nets G.M. Billy King reached an agreement with Hollins on Wednesday to replace Jason Kidd, who bolted Brooklyn for Milwaukee.
Plumlee, Marquis Teague and Jorge Gutierrez acknowledged they were surprised by the move. But once their first game here tipped off Saturday morning, the Nets, coached by John Welch, who has been in touch with Hollins, rolled to a 101-81 win over the Indiana Pacers.
Plumlee led the way with 23 points and seven boards. Second-round draft choice Markel Brown showed off some breathtaking athleticism while scoring nine points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing four assists.
Former Georgetown star DaJuan Summers had 12 points and six rebounds while former Syracuse star Donte’ Greene’s added 13 points and seven rebounds. The Nets led 56-27 at the half and coasted from there.
Hollins, 60, will be introduced at a news conference on Monday at Barclays Center before heading to Orlando. He will find a group that has put the bizarre events of this past week behind them.
“He’s a veteran coach, a great coach,’’ said point guard Marquis Teague. “In his last season he won  games and led Memphis to the playoffs a few times.
“I heard he is a real great coach. I know Mike Conley personally and he loved playing for him. I’ve heard a lot of good things about him.’’
Hollins won 56 games in 2012-13 with the Memphis Grizzlies, leading them to the Western Conference finals. He was not retained by Memphis after that season as the organization shifted to an approach based on analytics.
There’s no denying that Hollins’ style worked in Memphis. The Grizzlies won 46 games in 2010-11, 41 games in the strike-shortened season of 2011-12 and 56 in 2012-13.
“I’m excited to play for Lionel Hollins,’’ said Plumlee. “I liked watching Memphis when he had [Zach] Randolph and [Marc] Gasol. I’m focused on that right now.’’