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Analysis

Lionel Hollins On The Hot Seat? “Not Really”

I have learned a ton researching for this article. People will bet on anything. I mean, watching the movie Casino and seeing how Las Vegas has changed from the Mafia years means nothing to me now. Now that FanDuel, DraftKings, and Fantasy sports have taken the world by storm, I see people will gamble on the wildest things.

Even professional coaches being fired.

There is an online betting website called Bovada that has Lionel Hollins as the second coach on their list with the highest probability of being fired.

Here’s the list, if you are interested.

  1. George Karl - Sacramento Kings 14/5 odds.
  2. Lionel Hollins - Brooklyn Nets 3/1 odds.
  3. Derek Fisher - New York Knicks 4/1 odds.
  4. Byron Scott - Los Angeles Lakers 4/1 odds.
  5. Randy Wittman - Washington Wizards 5/1 odds.
  6. Steve Clifford - Charlotte Hornets 7/1 odds.
  7. David Blatt - Cleveland Cavaliers 8/1 odds.
  8. Dwane Casey - Toronto Raptors 10/1 odds.

Let’s be clear here, Blatt and Casey are not going anywhere. Cleveland went to the Finals and no matter how hard LeBron James tried (allegedly) to get Blatt fired, he’s safe. Casey has led the Raptors to, as of this writing, a 5-0 record. He’s also safe. Randy Wittman is not going anywhere because owner Ted Leonsis is not going to pay two coaches in the same year. Derek Fisher is not going to be fired because if getting slapped around by Matt Barnes (allegedly) after coaching the worst New York Knicks team ever doesn’t do it, nothing will. George Karl is not going anywhere because he is the only coach alive that can coach that Kings team without burning down the building (Chuck Daly is the other, may he rest in peace). Byron Scott is needed in Los Angeles because he is the only one in the organization NOT scared of Kobe Bryant.

For a coach to be fired this early depends on an impatient owner. Brooklyn’s Finest fans, let me introduce you to two of them: Michael Jordan and Mikhail Prokhorov.

Michael Jordan will not tolerate two years removed from the playoffs out of Clifford and should, in my opinion, should be at the top of the list.

However…

Lionel Hollins is not actually endearing himself to anyone himself, based on what the Brooklyn Nets have shown on the floor over the past five games. Outside of Brook Lopez, the Nets have performances that should go straight not to DVD, but BET.

I would have laughed at this oddsmakers thing but the decisions made during the Milwaukee game brings things into perspective.

He allowed leading scorer, Brook Lopez, to languish on the bench with five fouls and watch the chances to win go with it, as Lopez was banished until the game was over. Did he regret it?

“Not really.”

Now, how about that almost comical full reign and trust that is given to Jarrett Jack on a nightly basis.

Considering the Brooklyn Nets have no consistency on offense and being down three points late in the game, Jarrett Jack foregoes looking for the tie, goes to the hoop, misses the shot and the game is over.

Hey Lionel, let’s talk about that decision by Jarrett Jack to drive for a two-point basket instead of going for three…

“He’s out there playing, he has to make decisions,” Hollins said of Jack’s final shots. “I can’t make all the decisions for guys. He made one. If he makes the layup, it’s a good play, but he didn’t make the layup and they got the ball. I can’t criticize every decision these guys make. Plus it’s a game of improve. You have to have the freedom to make decisions, and he made that decision and he got to the basket. He just didn’t finish.”

If you take a look at these quotes here, most fans that watched the turn of events will wonder what in the world is Lionel Hollins thinking at this point. After a few weeks of these explanations (or lack thereof), the “Bagheads” will come out with the “Fire Lionel Hollins” signs.

Lionel Hollins’s claim to fame is how he can get his team to compete on the defensive end. It’s just not happening with the point guards sponsoring layup lines for opposing guards. Brook Lopez is not the strongest defender in the first place so his weaknesses will be exposed more and more on a nightly basis. With an undersized power forward in Thaddeus Young, this means more teams will attack the basket with their quick guards and Lopez could be in foul trouble more often.

As bad as the defensive woes is for the Brooklyn Nets, the rotation decisions are worse. Joe Johnson is turning into “Woe Johnson” based on 7.7 points a game at about 30 percent from the field through four games. Andrea Bargnani is absolutely a waste of a roster spot. Since opening night, he has been invisible and defiantly opposed to playing defense. Meanwhile, Thomas Robinson has not gotten the consistent minutes based on the effort on the defensive end. One might make the argument that Hollins is still trying to figure out the lineup. But isn’t the training camp and preseason games for those types of decisions?

Hopefully for Brooklyn Nets fans, it doesn’t fall into a situation that Lionel Hollins doesn’t believe in his system to the point where it holds the team hostage. What that means is that Hollins is going to have to make some adjustments based on the personnel that he has. Brook Lopez is not Marc Gasol. Thaddeus Young is not Zach Randolph, and Joe Johnson? Well, he’s not even Joe Johnson at this point.

I’m not a gambling man, so I have no idea what in the world Bovada is about. But if things don’t change and soon, those 3/1 odds will add up to Lionel Hollins being fired first on the list.