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Carlesimo admits benching Lopez against Grizzlies was mistake

Feb 26, 2013, 12:08 PM EDT

Brook Lopez, P.J. Carlesimo AP

Brook Lopez was in a mini-slump following All-Star Weekend in Houston. That happens. The players are pulled 50 different directions during the day and then there are parties every night.

But a week after that game, on Sunday night, the Nets were locked in a low-scoring affair with the Memphis Grizzlies, a team with a big front line (Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol). Plus the Nets were without Joe Johnson for the night.

But coach P.J. Carlesimo benched Lopez the entire fourth quarter. Memphis won 76-72 and the Nets offense had no good options late, while their leading scorer (18.7 points a game) sat on the bench.

Carlesimo admitted to Howard Beck at the New York Times that was a mistake.

Carlesimo acknowledged his error Monday, telling reporters: “I created the situation, and it’s not a good situation. I worry about it that I need to address it, and I worry about it that I need to watch what I do going forward.”

Thing is, Carlesimo has done that a few times recently, Andray Blatche is getting the run. Not only does Lopez need to be in the game but the Nets need to run plays for him — he can score with the game on the line but he’s not going to be Joe Johnson, get the ball 25 feet from the basket and create his own shot. Get Lopez the rock in the post or force the defense to adjust and take that away, which opens up other options.

The Nets are not a consistent team. They need to lean more on Lopez and Johnson, who are their most reliable players night in and night out.

  1. trueballs - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Man, it’s so tough to get a read on Brook. His offensive skill set and execution is clearly there, but he seems like he’s still learning the game. Sometimes he tries to place the ball in the basket instead of dunking. He’s huge…and actually has some surprising agility. He’s made strides with his defense this year.
    Blatche seems like more of a gamer than Brook. Better at creating his own shot, incredible ball handler, but he kind of disappears when they really need a bucket or a stop.

    But overall it’s a good problem to have. What a luxury having Brooke and Blatche as your Center rotation.

  2. wwttww - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Horford >>Lopez. All day and night. Stern had to throw Brooklyn a bone when deciding on replacement.

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