A visit from the high-scoring Phoenix Suns, who are one of the most prolific three-point shooting teams in the NBA with a .393 percentage beyond the arc, prompted questions Tuesday for Nets coach Lionel Hollins about the increasing number of teams relying on perimeter offense.
But from the perspective of a former player and coach who entered the NBA in 1975, there’s really not that much that has changed. Hollins said the champion Golden State Warriors rely on that style because it’s driven by their personnel.
“If you go back to the Boston Celtics, that’s the way they played,” Hollins said.
“They had Bill Russell, and then, they had four guys that did whatever they wanted to do. The 76ers with Wilt Chamberlain and the guys they had around him. You go back to the Milwaukee Buicks when Don Nelson was the head coach, the Golden State Warriors with Don Nelson as the head coach. Doug Moe with San Antonio and Denver. It’s nothing new.”
Hollins suggested some teams rely too heavily on perimeter shooting without making a high percentage, playing into the hands of opposing defenses. Good big men are harder to find these days, but when you get one, you build around him.
“Another Shaq comes in the league, another Kareem comes in the league or Bob Lanier or any of those guys who were good post players, you’re going to have to deal with them,” Hollins said. “I don’t care how small you go, if you shoot 35 percent from three and a guy shoots 70 percent from around the basket and gets offensive rebounds, who goes big and who goes small?”
No place like home
The Nets play 20 home games over December and January, 10 each month, so now is the time for them to make hay after going 1-10 on the road. “We’ve been playing well in both places,” Hollins maintained. “We haven’t had victories in both places, but we’ve played well [on the road].” . . . Andrea Bargnani (tight left hamstring) sat out and was replaced on the active roster by rookie Willie Reed.