During his four-plus years in Memphis, new Nets coach Lionel Hollins took the Grizzlies and molded them into one of the league’s elite defensive units, as Memphis finished in the top 10 in defensive efficiency in each of his final three seasons in charge.

Now Hollins hopes to do the same with the Nets, despite the fact his team lacks the same level of elite individual defenders Memphis has, including Mike Conley, Tony Allen and Marc Gasol.

“First of all, those guys weren’t All-Defense when I took over,” Hollins said with a smile after Wednesday’s practice. “We were a collective defensive team, and I think because we were a collective defensive team, we won and they got awards for it.

“We’re going to be a collective defensive team here, and when we win, we’ll get recognized for it.”

Allen made two All-Defensive first teams and had one second team appearance in Hollins’ final three years in Memphis, while both Conley and Gasol each made the second team — and Gasol won Defensive Player of the Year — in 2012-13.

The Nets have several average or slightly above-average defenders, including Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, as well as longtime defensive stars Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko, though neither is as impactful at that end as they were in their primes.

Still, Hollins is confident the Nets can improve defensively — where they finished tied for 18th and 19th the past two seasons, respectively — by working together, regardless of whether they have any lockdown defenders on the floor.