This is probably the most interesting out of all the matchups on this list. Brooklyn will have Brook Lopez starting at center for the ninth straight season. Lopez has become the foundation on which the Nets are trying to build, and rightfully so. He is without a doubt the Nets’ best player. Lopez averaged 20.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game last season. More impressive than his stats is that he played 73 games last season. For a guy that was considered injury prone, he only has two seasons in which he played less than 72 games. With that said, the Knicks signed a good center this offseason.
The Knicks went big this summer. Not long after the Knicks traded for Derrick Rose they went after another Chicago Bull. They signed Joakim Noah. Noah saw a drastic decrease in his numbers across the board last season. It is worth mentioning that Noah was also hurt for most of last year. But he has been in a steady decline. With averages of 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and one block per game, it was clear that Noah was not himself. Given this is a fresh start for Noah, his numbers should increase again.
Lopez should have the advantage at the center spot. Even if Noah is fully healthy this season, Lopez is a crafty scorer and can dominate the post. Noah is known for his defense, but in this case, he is going against the best offensive center in the NBA. On the other side of the ball, Lopez has improved his defense tremendously since entering the league and is a respectable defender. He may not be a paint protector, but he knows how to put himself in position to alter shots around the rim. And a player like Noah with little post game should be an easy match up for Lopez.