Brook Lopez Shakes Off Miami Game, Nets Fall to Milwaukee


After a rough two weeks to start the NBA season, Brook Lopez was looking for a bounce back performance against Milwaukee on Wednesday night. Lopez, who has shown flashes of his old self this season, is fresh off one of his worst games in a Nets uniform. Two nights prior against Miami, Lopez was one of the main reasons for the Nets dropping their fourth straight matchup as he tallied only 5 points and logged a season-low 22 minutes. Visibly upset by his performance, he went on to say in the post game presser that he thought he played well defensively but could’ve been better. Here’s the full quote below.

"It’s tough. I expect myself to be better. I think I did decently well defending Bosh. I’m trying to find positive things to look at. I’ve just gotta stay positive. I’m all for the team. I’ve always been [that way], and so if that’s the way it’s gonna go — and it’s the best look — so be it. I’m gonna be out there cheering my guys and supporting them."

As for coach Lionel Hollins, he seemed peeved when Lopez was brought up during his interview and snapped back saying, “I don’t want to talk about Brook right now. I don’t want to talk about any individuals, I want to talk about the game and our effort. I hear what you’re asking. I just don’t want to go there right now. It’s not a good time — for me.” Strong words from the head coach that many Nets fans do not want to hear right about now. Their overall struggles are clear but to see Lopez play so poorly, after being a model of consistency each night for so many years has the fan base rattled.

More from Nothin' But Nets

Of course, once the game was over there was your usual backlash on social media about trading Lopez or my personal favorite, fans wishing that the Dwight Howard trade had gone through years ago. If memory serves correctly, weren’t the Nets faithful celebrating the fact that they didn’t get Howard once he was run out of Los Angeles after his brief stint with the Lakers? Regardless, it is clear that the fan’s perceptions of Lopez are beginning to drastically change with each poor performance. Although he has just returned from his second major foot surgery, Lopez must play better if the Nets are going to be competitive in the East, let alone make the playoffs.

Wednesday night, Lopez and company looked to right the ship against their former coach and Nets legend, Jason Kidd and his new team, the Milwaukee Bucks. Kidd, who left abruptly this offseason after a forced trade between the two clubs, returned to the Barclays Center to a chorus of boos. However, it would Kidd who would end with the last laugh as the Bucks won in triple overtime, 122-118.

As for Brook Lopez, he struggled at certain points in the game naturally, he’s only human. However Brook was able to create shots in the paint using his array of post moves and ability to post up Milwaukee’s interior defenders. Opposing center Larry Sanders gave him trouble early on but he was able to remain around the basket for a few alley oops and tip-ins during crunch time to keep the Nets afloat. The offense was at its best when Deron Williams and Joe Johnson we’re allowing Lopez to post up and operate in the paint but it just wasn’t enough.

It’s evident that Lopez’s performance didn’t get him completely out of the doghouse but it wa certainly a step in the right direction.

Defensively, too many easy baskets for the Bucks last night, plain and simple. Can’t tell you how many times Jabari Parker split a pair of defenders on his way to an easy lay in. Lopez and the rest of the Nets for that matter, looked sluggish on their rotations for a vast portion of the 63 minutes. In terms of rebounding, Brook was active on the glass but the results came up extremely short. Several potential boards glancing off his outstretched arms only to turn into Milwaukee offensive rebounds (they had several last night). Thankfully, Kevin Garnett remains one of the best rebounders in the league statistically and picked up the slack where Lopez clearly lacks.

Lopez’s roller-coaster week will end Saturday as the Nets travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder to play the first game of a back-to-back on Friday. He’ll have his hands full on offense once again, facing two of the best interior defenders in the league, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. The day after, they’ll take on the defending champs in San Antonio, as Tim Duncan looms large in the paint in his 18th season. It is crucial that the Nets come away with at least a split to keep them from sinking any farther in the East.

Here’s hoping that the Nets can end their skid on the backs of a second straight strong performance from their All-Star Center.