The Memphis Grizzlies have decided to not renew head coach Lionel Hollins’ contract, putting an end to the tumultuous saga between Hollins and Memphis brass.
Hollins has been feuding with the new Grizzlies front office, under the direction of new owner Robert Pera, on the state of the franchise. Hollins stated a desire to stay in Memphis, however it was not enough as he is now out of a job.
Hollins will now be one of the hottest targets available in the NBA, with the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Brooklyn Nets being linked to the former NBA point guard recently.
Los Angeles appears to be the current frontrunner for Hollins’ services, as Hollins played with the Clippers during his 10-year NBA career.
The former Grizzlies coach could fulfill a missing piece for the Clippers, as they are missing a defensive identity. Los Angeles was one of the better offensive teams in the NBA under recently fired coach Vinny Del Negro, averaging 101.1 points per game, — good for ninth in the league — with their “Lob City” style being their centerpiece. However, the Clippers lost in the first round of the playoffs to Hollins’ defensive minded Grizzlies squad this season, a defeat which likely was a major factor in Del Negro’s firing.
As aforementioned, the Clippers have one of the better offenses in the NBA, however they are lacking on the defensive end, similar to their fellow Los Angeles counterparts, the Lakers.
The Clippers already have an offense that can stand up with the contenders of the NBA and their Achilles heel seems to be their defense, which most likely had to do with the philosophy of Del Negro.
Los Angeles has a good defensive frontline in Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and one of the best ball-hawking point guards in the league in Chris Paul. With these weapons at Los Angeles’ disposal, more of an emphasis should be made towards the defensive side of the ball.
Defense is one of the Clippers weaknesses, and if Los Angeles were to change their emphasis towards defense rather than trying to recreate ‘Showtime,” they may wind up becoming a championship contender in the near future.
Hollins could be the man to change the Clippers’ identity, and should be the first priority for their front office during their search for a new head coach.
Whether or not Hollins becomes the newest Clippers head coach, he is definitely a valuable asset to whichever team decides to hire him in the coming days or weeks.