Mar 5, 2010, 10:29 AM EDT
Using the phrase “bright spot” and “Nets” in the same sentence just feels wrong. We’re not going to do that.
One of the less dark spots for the Nets this season has been Brook Lopez, who has established himself as a legitimate center in the NBA. He’s giving the Nets 19 points, 9 boards and 2 blocks a game, he gets to the free throw line, and for those at the SLOAN Conference his PER is an impressive 21.1.
And Dwight Howard owns him. Just owns him. In two games this season Howard has outscored him an average of 23 to 7.5, and he grabbed 12 more boards per game. Not that Howard doesn’t own 29 other starting centers, but this is particularly bad considering Lopez is an up and coming center.
Ask Howard why and he, very politely, tells you Lopez isn’t in shape (as he did the Orlando Sentinel).
“He’s a big body. The thing with him is you have to move him, run him, beat him up and down the floor and be aggressive. By doing all that stuff on the offensive end and pressuring him on the defensive end usually he gets tired a little bit faster than a lot of people. So, you take advantage of that.”
Something to watch tonight, when Howard owns Lopez again. Something for Lopez to work on in the off-season.