Lopez and Young helped turn around the Nets' season last year.
Brad Penner/Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Back in his Memphis days, Lionel Hollins used to play his center, Marc Gasol, in the high post with Zach Randolph, his power forward, hanging around the rim on a regular basis. It was a sort of way to “invert” his power forward and center.
Last year with the Nets, Hollins messed around with a bunch of ways to use Brook Lopez, settling by the end of the year on using his mostly as a pick-and-roll and face-up player. And because of that (and because of how effective Thaddeus Young can be around the paint), the Nets might be going back to the old Grizzlies model.
Nets color commentator and NBATV contributor, Mike Fratello, suggested such on NBATV's Brooklyn season preview. Here's what he had to say, with the transcription courtesy of NetsDaily:
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Stu Jackson, Fratello's partner on the show, pointed it out, as well:
The Nets tried to throw the ball into the low post to get Lopez points early last year, but it didn't work particularly well. Lopez certainly has moves down there, but he's not one to pass out of the post, and back-to-the-basket play isn't all too efficient if the player with the ball is exclusively looking to score. No interest in facilitating takes away a bunch of the effectiveness Lopez can have.
But if the Nets can put Lopez into the position he was in during the second half of last year, when he blew up after the All-Star break, that'll make things much tougher for their opponents.
They do invert Lopez and Thaddeus Young. Thaddeus Young has a great ability to play along the baseline. He can put the ball on the deck from the perimeter, especially from the wing, terrific offensive rebounder. And this is a team under athletic transition. They go out and draft Chris McCullough who wont play most of this season, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Markel Brown, Thaddeus Young. The plan is clear on how they want to build around Brook Lopez and that is getting a little bit more athletic.
It's really a credit to him as professional the way he's continued to add skill to his game. The fact that he's showing in the preseason the ability to put the basketball on the floor going both ways,he's trying to make himself a complete player and I think he's headed for a very good year.