Last season, the Brooklyn Nets were 24th in the NBA in pace (possessions per game) under old-school coach Lionel Hollins. Before than Hollins had been in Memphis and when he took them over for the 2009-10 season they were a top 10 team in pace, but by the time he was let go they were dead last in the league. He’s not seen as a running coach.
But the Nets are going to run this year if you ask Thaddeus Young.
Young was on SiriusXM NBA Radio and talked about the Nets playing faster this season under Hollins.
Look at the Brooklyn Nets likely starting five — Jarrett Jack, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Johnson, Thaddeus Young, Brook Lopez — and you see a group that can get out and run. Reserves such as Shane Larkin, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and even Andrea Bargnani (sprinting to the arc) would love to play more in transition. They are not going to be the Warriors, but the Nets don’t need to be slow.
But we’ll see what Hollins has in store for them. If he wants to pound it in to Lopez in the post or at the elbow, things will not be fast.
The Nets are going to count on Bojan Bogdanovic this season, he likely starts on the wing next to Joe Johnson and will get heavy minutes.
Part of Bogdanovic’s off-season program is to play in EuroBasket with his native Bosnia and Herzegovina (along with fellow NBA players Jusuf Nurkic and Mirza Teletovic). But playing in real games means an increased injury risk and that befell the Nets two guard.
It’s nothing serious, he tweeted.
This is not enough for the Nets to pull an Alexis Ajinca, but Brooklyn will be watching. The injury shouldn’t linger into training camp if he doesn’t aggravate it.
Bosnia and Herzegovina open EuroBasket play Sept. 5 against Poland. Bogdanovic and his teammates are expected to have a tough time advancing out of the round robin play to the knockout tournament, they are in a group with France and Russia but more realistically would need to beat Finland or Israel to advance.
FIBA lifted Russia’s ban for international competition, but Russian basketball isn’t in the clear.
The Russian Basketball Federation remains under fire from FIBA.
At least it will have a new leader to guide it out of the muck.
Former NBA All-Star Andrei Kirilenko was named president of the Russian Basketball Federation (RFB) on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old Kirilenko, who was unanimously elected by all 215 members who attended the conference, said there was “a deep crisis of trust” within the RFB.
“I see and understand how to concentrate all the basketball powers in the country,” he said.
“We need to make serious changes to how the sport is run. I am sure that together we can take big steps forward and put an end to this mess.
“I want there to be at least one person in every family in our country who loves to watch or play basketball,” he added.
Kirilenko has been eyeing this position since retirement, and he clearly has grand goals.
The most immediate priority, though, must be next month’s Eurobasket. A top-two finish would get Russia into the 2016 Rio Olympics. Placing third through seventh would send Russia to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
With players like Timofey Mozgov, Sasha Kaun, Alexey Shved and Sergey Karasev, the Russians can compete right now. It’d be a shame if deeper problems hindered their present.