Lionel on loss to Hawks & love from Russia

The Nets lost a heartbreaker on Wednesday night at Barclays Center, 114-111, to the Atlanta Hawks. Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins had a lot to say about this setback in their playoff push.

Hollins said of his take on the game, “Well,you know, it was a hard-fought game. We started off poorly, but we battled back. They came out and gave us a good punch, but we kept battling. We were down in the fourth quarter, but we kept battling, and next thing you know, we’ve brought ourselves all the way back. They had the lead. They made a couple of plays at the end. (Kyle) Korver coming off, you know, we probably either should have stayed on him – either he was gonna shoot and make it or miss it, and we were gonna get the rebound and win the game, but we gave up a layup.  We had our chances. Brook (Lopez) was at the basket on a couple offensive rebounds, and we didn’t get them. Then finally, he got it and threw it back out, and first off it came out to Jarrett (Jack) in the corner and he had a three and missed it, the ball went back out to the top to Bogie (Bojan Bogdanovic) and he had a three and missed it. Then at the end, Joe (Johnson) shot and, from my angle, it was right on top of the rim – it just didn’t go in. Hopefully, we learned that we can play against this team with the collective effort that it takes offensively and defensively.”

On whether the Nets got the looks they wanted at the end of the game, Hollins said, “They were wide open shots, both of them. I mean, however we got them, we got them – we just didn’t make them. Joe’s shot was obviously a little tougher, but he got a good look at it and that’s what you have to do at the end of the game. You want to get a look and he got one. He just didn’t make it.”

On if anything changed when Thaddeus Young fouled out, Hollins said, “It didn’t change anything. I mean, it was just one foul. There was a foul later on, and he fouled out of the game, and there were probably more. You know, you just have to play. Whether he had been in the game at the end, I don’t know what would have been different on offense. I think he was in the game, there were a bunch of rebounds and we didn’t score, and we had chances at the basket and we didn’t score on the tip-ins. But that’s basketball.”

Hollins said of whether Brook Lopez missed a pick-and-roll defending Al Horford on the final play when Horford got his game-winning dunk, “It wasn’t a pick-and-roll. He came off a screen, and Deron (Williams) was trailing and Brook ran after him and left him at the basket. So, no, he wasn’t supposed to be out there, but I can understand where he’s coming from in that situation. The guy’s wide open and he has the ball. He needed to go stop it, but the guard kept coming as well and Brook left Horford at the basket.”

Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov was in attendance and he said before the game that he was pleased with Hollins’s performance. Hollins said of that, “We always want the people we work for to like you. You expect that you do. So, yes.”

On how well he knows Prokhorov, Hollins said, “He’s got a lot of money and he flies around the world when he wants to. I mean, I haven’t gotten to know him – I mean, there hasn’t been time for me to get to know him, but he seems like a stand-up guy and we think a little bit alike, I think. I guess maybe not 100 percent alike, but you know it’s hard for me to think like him when he’s got his lifestyle and I’ve got mine.”

On whether the Nets needed to show this effort against Atlanta in case they face them in the playoffs, Hollins said, “We just didn’t need to get blown out – period. Whether we play them – it wasn’t about that. It was about ‘we have to go out and compete against this team.’ Because we needed a win in order to keep our position in the playoffs. That was more important. But I said after the game, hopefully we learn that kind of effort collectively we need in order to play against this team.”

On what makes the Hawks so difficult to guard, Hollins said, “Well, obviously, when you’ve got a guy who can make a shot an everybody’s worried about him, and he’s open – they have a lot of guys open. and they were 11-for-28 from the three-point line. When you look at that and the fact that we gave them 23 points on turnovers – which most of those were layups, and some of the layups in the pick-and-roll game – when you take some of that away, we win the game, and we didn’t.”


About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media