Brooklyn Nets: Possibly lineup solutions for Coach Hollins


The Brooklyn Nets are currently sitting at 0-7, and a big reason for it is the lack of a go-to lineup. The starting group has been solid when on the court together, but they always seem to fall behind when it matters most. Against the Bucks, Lakers, and Bucks again, the Nets have been in the game until late in the 4th quarter. They are already becoming known for having meltdowns. If the Nets are going to start winning games, Coach Lionel Hollins has to find that perfect group of five guys to close the game.

The Nets, late in games, have opted to put rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the lineup. Hollis-Jefferson has been playing fantastic this season, but far too often, he becomes a liability in the half court offense. Furthermore, he has been an awful free throw shooter, which has cost the Nets some easy points. Against the Lakers, he missed three of 4 key free throws, and against the Bucks, he missed two of four key free throws. If he wants to be included in the late game lineup, he has to prove that he can be an asset on offense.

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One lineup that the Nets have decided to go with has been Jarrett Jack, Joe Johnson, Thaddeus Young, Brook Lopez, and Bojan Bogdanovic at shooting guard. This lineup has worked at times, but often, the Nets are unable to get the ball to Lopez in the post or Bogdanovic on the wing, and because of this, the Nets’ half court offense has struggled too.

Oct 18, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Shane Larkin (0) dribbles the ball up the court against the Philadelphia 76ers during the 4th qtr at Barclays Center. The Nets won 92-91. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets could test something else in this next scenario. Thad Young would slide to small forward, Joe Johnson to shooting guard, and Thomas Robinson would be inserted at power forward. Robinson is a relentless rebounder and solid defender, and he can cause a lot of problems for opposing rebounders. Robinson could help the Nets close out games by keeping opposing teams off the offensive boards while creating extra opportunities on offense.

With both the Nets and Joe Johnson struggling, it is difficult to understand why he continues to lead the Nets in minutes. At some point, Johnson will have to have his minutes decreased, especially since he has had just one good game in the first 7 games of the season. The Nets might be better off without him in there.

Tying into the previous statement about Joe Johnson, there is one final lineup possibility that the Nets can consider. This one may seem a bit odd, but it could actually benefit the Nets, especially on offense. In this situation, Shane Larkin would be inserted at the point guard position, with Jarrett Jack shifting to shooting guard. Bogdanovic could be inserted at small forward, with Young at power forward and Lopez at center.

The reason that the Nets should consider this lineup is the spot up shooting possibilities. Both Jack and Larkin are natural point guards, but they both work better as spot up shooters. Bogdanovic has a very clean catch and shoot ability, with a quick, precise release of the ball. He also has playmaking potential, and is not a liability on defense. And Young and Lopez will stay at their regular positions. This lineup could be useful because it gives the Nets multiple options of who brings the ball up the floor, while using the other guard as a spot up shooter. Beyond that, both Larkin and Jack are scrappy on defense. They both are terrific at picking pockets and clogging passing lanes. This lineup would be very unconventional, but it might actually work pretty well.

The Nets are 0-7, but they have too much talent to continue losing games. At this point, Coach Hollins has to start brainstorming outside-the-box ideas for lineups to use late in games. With the personnel that the Nets have, he should consider some of these options, because so far, nothing else has worked. The Nets will continue to lose unless Hollins can find that one perfect group.