Feb 19, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT
Brook Lopez lost nearly the first two months of the season to a broken foot. He started the season being constantly talked about in trade rumors, and that was the primary focus of the news of his injury. Now he’s ready to return. Avery Johnson told reporters on Saturday before the Nets game with the Bulls, an impressive win for the future Brooklyn squad:
Lopez’ absence has been considered to be a big reason for the Nets’ massive struggles, as Lopez is arguably the Nets’ second-best player. Expectations are high for Lopez not only to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 campaign, but to build his trade value so the Nets can pursue Dwight Howard. Welcome back, Brook! Please make it easier to get the guy we actually want!
But Lopez will play, and he’ll play well because he’s a professional. His impact could be greatest on Deron Williams. With Anthony Morrow in fine form, MarShon Brooks back from injury, and Lopez rejoining the team, he’s got weapons. Maybe he won’t feel so down, the wins will start coming, and it will open the door to Dwight Howard.
The Nets have to catch a break sometime, after all.