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Nets' missing identity puzzles Lionel Hollins

Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins reacts during the

Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins reacts during the first half of an NBA game against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Kathy Kmonicek

Lionel Hollins is sure his Nets already have a distinct personality. It's just not all that flattering.

"We have an established identity," he said Monday night. "We don't make shots. That is an identity. If you don't make shots, that's a part of who you are. We have guys that are great shooters or good shooters through their careers wherever they have played, and I don't know what it is."

The Nets entered the night ranked 19th in the league in shooting, hitting only 44.5 percent of their attempts. Their 32.3-percent showing beyond the arc ranked them 25th.

"Maybe I'm the problem. I don't know," Hollins said. "But I don't shoot. But I'm sure that behind closed doors without the microphone on, some players may say that I am the problem and the reason they can't shoot."

McHale a Hollins fan

Rockets coach Kevin McHale spoke with Hollins not long before he landed the Nets' job in June, but it wasn't technically about joining his staff. The two chatted about some of Hollins' philosophies as McHale picked his brain. "I thought his teams in Memphis always played with grit and character and he's just a good guy," McHale said. "I've always liked Lionel. I was glad he got the job here in Brooklyn. He's just a quality guy."

"He played hard when he played, and he coaches hard, and I think that his teams take a little while for them to jell and do what he wants them to do. Lionel is going to have a tough, hard-nosed team."

Garnett true to word

Earlier in his 20th NBA season, Kevin Garnett, formerly of the Timberwolves, recalled a conversation he had with McHale -- then Minnesota's vice president of basketball operations -- as a 19-year-old in 1995. Garnett said his hope was to play in the league for essentially two decades, and McHale still remembers that chat.

"He was a young kid and he said I'm going to play longer in the NBA than I am old right now," McHale said. "I said you are absolutely out of your mind. But he did it."

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