MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -The Memphis Grizzlies need a new attitude. Being in a little better physical shape couldn't hurt either.
``I was not expecting to come in here and win 20 in a row and get back in the playoff hunt. If the team was on that level, the coach that was here before would still be here,'' new coach Lionel Hollins said Friday.
Hollins took over the team on Sunday, replacing Marc Iavaroni who led the Grizzlies to a 22-60 record last season and wasn't doing much better this season. With two games under Hollins, both losses, the Grizzles are 11-34 going into Saturday night's game with the Los Angeles Lakers.
This is Hollins' first time as the full-fledged and not interim coach. His first goal is to draw the Grizzlies out of an emotional funk and start playing together as a team.
`We have to start with a mind-set, a toughness. We have to start with playing hard.''
Hollins refused to talk about the Grizzlies' past mistakes, but said he plans to introduce a faster-paced style and expects the Grizzlies to get stronger through tougher practices.
``I am implementing a style that I play, and that style is to be a hard-nosed, defensive team, aggressive, turnaround and push the ball back up the court,'' he said. ``We want to pressure full-court.''
One way to turn up the pace? Give point guard Mike Conley, the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft, more freedom in running the team.
Conley has not played up to his potential, and Hollins said the guard needs ``the freedom and responsibility to be whatever guy he thinks he is.''
That sounds good to Conley, whose play-calling duties were limited under Iavaroni.
``When he first walked in, he said, 'I expect you to be a playmaker. I expect you to have the ball in hour hands and make decisions,''' Conley said. ``I feel like I can make pretty good decisions when it comes down to finding the open man and making plays.''
team was in Vancouver.
He joined the franchise as an assistant in 1995 in Vancouver and moved with the Grizzlies to Memphis in 2001. He left the team in 2007 and was an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks when offered the new Memphis job.
With the two losses under their new coach, the Grizzlies now have lost 11 straight.
``It's already a bad season. It can't be much worse,'' Hollins said. ``But hopefully, by the latter part of the season we can be knocking teams off that think they can come in here and win.''
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