EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After his team’s clunker of a loss Monday to the Orlando Magic, Nets coach Lionel Hollins decided it was time to go back to basics at Tuesday’s practice.
“When you see periods of ‘looseness’ when you watch film, you go back to the basics and fundamentals and your principles and get everybody reacquainted with them again,’’ Hollins said. “Whether you’re winning or losing it’s something that happens during the course of the season. Players start ‘shortcutting’ things offensively and defensively, and you have to go back and [say], ‘OK, this is where you’re supposed to be; this is how you cut.’ ’’
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So Hollins ran the Nets through a longer practice than usual; one that had more of training camp feel, according to Brook Lopez. And, as far as Lopez was concerned, it was all good.
The whole team had seemed really down after the 105-82 loss to Orlando, but Lopez, who scored only 11 points and shot 4-for-15 from the field, had been especially hard on himself, saying after the game, “I definitely take responsibility for this. I felt I was a complete negative for our team.’’
On Tuesday, he was eager to spin things forward.
“I was disappointed in myself [Monday],’’ he said. “You’ve got to take what you can from it and get over it.’’
Lopez, who is the team’s leading scorer at 19 points per game, was asked if he feels pressure to be the team’s best player every night.
“I don’t know about ‘best,’ but I absolutely — I have to bring it every night,’’ he said. “At the beginning of the season I said I saw myself as one of the leaders, and to do that I need to absolutely show up and do my part — and not just the scoring areas.’’
Lopez said he is excited to play again Wednesday night, when the Nets (7-17) host the Miami Heat (14-9) at Barclays Center. He is looking forward to what he called the “challenge’’ of matching up with Miami center Hassan Whiteside, who is averaging 12.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, along with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Heat.
Hollins was less interested in thinking about the Heat (“Do I have to talk about Miami today?” he asked) but said he was pleased with the effort at practice and with the fact that Lopez and the other players seemed to take Monday’s loss so hard.
“That’s good,’’ Hollins said. “I like that. You’ve got to care.
“If you don’t care about performing well,’’ he said, “if you don’t care about competing and winning, then why do we do it?’’