In the end, he couldn't help himself.
"I came in here tonight planning on not playing a few guys and not worrying about who won the game," he said. "But my competitive nature and the players didn't want to do that, so we ended up going for it."
Sam Young's three-point play with 22 seconds left and his block of DaJuan Summers' attempt at a game-tying 3-pointer led Memphis to the 106-103 win and a perfect preseason record.
"I'm happy that we ended the preseason this way, but it doesn't mean a thing after tonight," Hollins said. "Tomorrow, we start getting ready for the regular season."
Young and Marc Gasol led Memphis (6-0) with 16 points each, while Austin Daye had 22 for Detroit (3-4).
"I had a lot of shots rattle in and out in the first half," Daye said. "In the second, they were falling. I thought we were going to pull away, but we just didn't have it tonight."
The Pistons got off to a quick start, but struggled with a depleted roster. They dressed nine players, going without a true point guard or center, and lost Ben Gordon to a bruised shoulder in the first half.
"Ben looked at me in the second half, and said he couldn't go," Pistons coach John Kuester said. "That cut us down another body, so we had to give our young guys a lot of chances."
The Pistons led by as many as eight points in the first half, but Memphis was able to pound the ball inside and it was 55-all at halftime.
"We wanted to develop a winning attitude during the preseason, and we did that," guard Mike Conley said. "Now, going into the regular season, we have to keep that same mindset."