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Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins has revealed that he plans to continue to leave both Deron Williams and Brook Lopez on the bench moving forward.
The max-contract players have struggled for form so far this season and Hollins made the bold move to bring them off the bench against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night at the Barclays Center.
His plan appeared to work as Lopez had 11 points and six rebounds in 12 minutes while Williams put up six points and three assists in 17 minutes as the Nets picked up a 107-99 win.
“I would hope that they would play better and they did,” Hollins said.
“Hopefully they will continue to play well and maybe we can have a good mix of starters and bench. Before, we didn’t have a good mix, so hopefully this will help us out. Both of those guys are accepting of their roles and are helping us win, and that’s what this business is all about.”
The Nets (14-16) are 4-1 since they started Jarrett Jack, Sergey Karasev, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett and Mason Plumlee, with Hollins using a more spread pick-and-roll orientated offense which is a change from the flex/post-heavy offense they ran earlier in the season.
Jack and Plumlee have flourished in particular in recent games averaging 19.4 points and 5.4 assists and 16.4 points and 9.6 rebounds respectively.
“We’re winning, man, so that’s all that matters,” Williams said. “We have team guys, we’re not selfish, we’re not bigger than the team. That first group is definitely rocking right now, so let them rock.”
Williams ($19.8m) and Lopez ($15.7m) rank in the top 20 among the NBA’s highest-paid players but both have been linked with a trade elsewhere in recent weeks.