Lionel Hollins chats up Brook Lopez
ORLANDO, Fla. - Lionel Hollins had the first sit-down with one of his new players Friday, munching on breakfast during a meet-and-greet with Brook Lopez.
Sounds as if it was a fitting time of day to chat it up, too, because Hollins apparently wants Lopez to bring home the bacon on both sides of the ball for the Nets in 2014-15.
The new coach is pretty sure he'll be able to utilize Lopez in a fashion similar to big men Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol in Memphis, on the low blocks and other areas of the floor, running the offense through the 7-footer in a variety of ways.
"There's a lot of different styles that are conducive to Brook," Hollins said. "We had Zach and Marc, who are both post-up players, so that was their style. Brook will certainly get his touches in the paint, he'll be out on the court at the elbow, he'll be in pick-and-rolls. It's just the nature of the way the game is changing and shaping.
"But certainly, if we need to go inside, we're going inside and he'll be one of the main guys that gets the ball."
Hollins was in town for the final day of the weeklong summer league session here, completing a whirlwind 10-day stretch since his official hiring. Filling out his coaching staff remains a work in progress, but he said it will include assistants Paul Westphal, Joe Wolf, Tony Brown and John Welch.
Wolf probably will work closely with Lopez, who's looking to regain his All-Star form after foot surgery. Lopez has been here around the team rehabbing, so it provided an opportunity for Hollins to break the proverbial ice and pick the brain of the six-year pro.
"I think that he, Joe [Johnson] and Deron [Williams] are the three big names in the nucleus," Hollins said, "and KG [Kevin Garnett], if he decides to come back and play, will certainly be in that mix. And I look for him [Lopez] to start and play. How he plays and what role he plays will be determined by how healthy he is and what type of condition he's in early . . .
"He's a good post-up player, a good shooter at the elbows and on the baseline. Obviously, he can play on the elbow. He obviously is smart enough and knows the game well enough. So there's a lot of different things we can do with him as we incorporate whatever system we put in."