Tag:Brook Lopez
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:01 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 1:03 am
 

Report Card: Brook Lopez dominates in Big D

Posted by Royce Young

 Brook Lopez definitely grabbed some attention Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


Brook Lopez
Probably about halfway through Tuesday's New Jersey game against the Mavericks, Billy King called Otis Smith and said, "Hey, just wanted to make sure you're watching this." Because in his third game after returning to the floor after a foot injury, Lopez was dominant. He finished with 38 points on 17-28 shooting leading the Nets to a one-point win over the Mavs in Dallas.
Minnesota Timberwolves
On a night where Kevin Love scored just 10 and Ricky Rubio only two while Blake Griffin had 30 and Chris Paul 27, you'd assume the Clippers handled the Wolves with ease, right? Wrong. Instead it was a big 109-97 win for Minnesota. So how'd they do it? Behind a career night from rookie Derrick Williams who finished with 27 points on 9-10 shooting and Michael Beasley who had 27 on 11-15 shooting. That's right, 54 points on 20-25 shooting. That'll get it done.
Middle-of-the-pack Eastern teams
Both the Pacers and 76ers limped a bit into the All-Star break, revealing some issues. But both came out roaring with the Sixers topping Detroit by 29 and the Pacers whipping the Warriors by 24. Good start to the second half for both.
Derrick Rose
The Bulls made it far closer than it should've been against the Hornets, but Rose came to the rescue for Chicago, scoring 32 points, including the last four for the Bulls. He hit a big jumper with 19 seconds left to put Chicago up two, then picked up a block on a Jarrett Jack drive that would've tied it and then hit two free throws to seal it.
Boston Celtics
Boston ended a five-game losing streak with a win over Cleveland, but still, it's obvious there are problems. They look slow, old and have problems scoring. Rajon Rondo was outscored by Kyrie Irving 24-0 -- that's right, zero points for Rondo -- and outside of Ray Allen's solid game, the Celtics weren't very good. It's not that the Celtics are disappointing anymore, mainly because expectations are constantly being lowered.
Chicago Bulls not named Derrick The bench combined for only 18 points and the other four starters only had 49. Without Rose in the game, the Bulls blew an 11-point lead and had to be rescued by the MVP in the last couple minutes.
Dallas Mavericks
It's one thing to blow a game to the Nets at home, but the Mavs' failure in the last minute to execute was just bad. Jason Kidd's heave to win the game was off a horrible set that exploded in Dallas's face. And Dirk Nowitzki -- you know, the guy that's seven feet tall and as clutch as it gets -- didn't take a shot in the Mavs' last two possessions.
New Orleans Hornets
The Bulls won a game they were supposed to, but the Hornets made it tough on them. So why an F? Because they had it. After a 13-0 run to go up 95-91 with 1:30 left, the Hornets watched the Bulls close on an 8-0 run. Here were their possessions: turnover, blocked shot, blocked shot, turnover. Derrick Rose hit a big shot, but the Hornets really showcased exactly why they have such a horrendous record.

Posted on: February 15, 2012 11:34 am
 

Brook Lopez to return before All-Star break?

Lopez's return could be about more than just the Nets getting a player back. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Brook Lopez's season almost ended before it got started. Right before the season began, Lopez broke his foot and hasn't played a game yet. But he could be returning soon, according to ESPN New York.
Lopez is out until at least Thursday, according to the team's official injury report, and coach Avery Johnson told reporters the team isn't ruling out a return before the Feb. 24-26 All-Star break.
The Nets' season is already over. The team isn't going anywhere, isn't going to make a playoff push. But Lopez's return is underscored by the fact he's the top trade chip the Nets have in trying to acquire Dwight Howard.

So him returning in late February could be a big deal. Why? Because it means the Magic would have two or three weeks to watch him play before the March 15 trade deadline. The Magic could watch him on his healed foot and just see if he's a good enough piece to acquire to part with their franchise guy.

Lopez isn't as attractive a piece as Andrew Bynum, but he's a seven-footer who can score. I'm not sure he's a franchise building block, but he's got the potential to be a top five center in the league. He's a bit soft and doesn't scrap for rebounds, but he's only 23 and has plenty of time to improve and grow as a player.

The Nets obviously don't want to rush him, but the sooner he comes back the better. Whether its before the All-Star break or after, getting a couple weeks of play out of him before the trade deadline could quietly big a really big thing.

Lopez averaged 20.4 points per game last season, which put him second in that stat among big men (behind Howard).
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:33 am
Edited on: January 19, 2012 12:35 am
 

Nets GM King: No extension for Brook Lopez?

Posted by Ben Golliver brook-lopez

It's been a tough start to the 2011-2012 season for New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez.

Swirling rumors that he would be packaged in a trade for Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard, a foot injury that is expected to sideline him for six weeks and now word that the Nets do not currently have plans to offer him a contract extension.

ESPNNY.com reports that Nets GM Billy King said Wednesday that the Nets won't move to lock up Lopez in advance of a January 25th contract extension deadline.
"I'm sure I'll have a conversation with his agent [Arn Tellem]," King told reporters before Wednesday night's game against the Golden State Warriors. "But I don't know if we'll do anything with him at this point. I think you just have to wait. They may throw a number at you that makes sense."

"The injury has had an impact on it," King said.
Lopez, 23, is regarded as one of the more promising young big men in the NBA, but the timing of his injury couldn't be worse. He's coming off a season in which he averaged 20.4 points but left much to be desired by only pulling down 6.0 rebounds per game. Lopez stated publicly that he would hit the glass harder but, given the type of major investment talented 7-footers require in the NBA, it's not a huge surprise that New Jersey prefers to wait before cutting the check now that their evaluation time has been eliminated by the injury.

If Lopez does not agree to an extension, he would become a restricted free agent this summer. Keeping their options open with Lopez also allows the Nets to maximize their flexibility and continue their pursuit of high-profile free agents next summer, in an ongoing effort to convince All-Star guard Deron Williams to stick around. 

Through Wednesday, the Netes are 4-11 on the season.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:36 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 11:12 pm
 

Jazz trade Mehmet Okur to Nets for draft pick

Posted by Ben Gollivermehmet-okur

The New Jersey Nets wasted no time plugging the hole created when starting center Brook Lopez went down with a broken foot earlier Thursday.

The Utah Jazz announced in a statement that the team has traded center Mehmet Okur to the Nets in exchange for a future second-round draft pick.
Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has acquired a future second-round draft pick and a trade exception from the New Jersey Nets in exchange for center Mehmet Okur.

Entering his 10th NBA season, Okur (6-11, 265, Yalova, Turkey), appeared in 13 games (no starts) for the Jazz during the 2010-11 campaign, averaging 4.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game. The 2007 NBA All-Star holds career averages of 13.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 617 career games (446 starts) with Detroit and Utah. Okur, who joined the Jazz prior to the 2004-05 season, departs the team ranking fourth on the franchise’s all-time list for three-pointers made (517), fifth for three-pointers attempted (1,358), and ninth in scoring (7,255), rebounding (3,599) and blocked shots (346).

ESPN.com reported that the draft pick is a 2015 second rounder.

A back injury ended Okur's 2010-2011 season in March and he reportedly considered retirement before opting to return to Utah to play out the final year of his contract. Okur is on the books in 2011-2012 for $10.9 million, meaning the Jazz acquire a trade exception for that value in this move.

Okur had been part of a very deep frontcourt in Utah, which also included veteran big man Al Jefferson, power forward Paul Millsap, second-year power forward Derrick Favors and 2011 first round pick Enes Kanter. There clearly weren't enough minutes to go around and Okur, 32, is well past his best days. His departure should open up playing time for Favors and Kanter, who represent Utah's future.

New Jersey, meanwhile, couldn't have a bigger need. With Lopez expected to be sidelined for more than a month, their frontline rotation included the likes of Kris Humphries, Johan Petro and rookie forward Jordan Williams. Good luck with that. Okur isn't a franchise-altering addition by any means but he has a familiarity with All-Star point guard Deron Williams, can knock down a face-up shot, doesn't require a long-term salary commitment and was essentially acquired for no cost other than his salary.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Lopez' injury puts Dwight deal in more jeopardy


By Matt Moore

The New Jersey Nets announced Thursday that center Brook Lopez has a broken foot and will undergo surgery. His listed recovery time is 4-6 weeks, but the injury is also similar to the one that sidelined Mavs' guard Roddy Beaubois for months and which SI.com says doctors have said can take up to 4 months to heal. 

So no, this is not good news.

But as bad as it is for Lopez, it also has huge ramifications for the Nets and their pursuit of Dwight Howard. Lopez was the centerpiece of any trade to Orlando, giving the Magic a young center to at least take the sting off losing the league's best big man. At 4-6 weeks, there's time for Lopez to recover and get back on the floor to show himself still worth the Magic's investment (I'm sure that's No.1 on his list of priorities). But that assumes his surgery goes perfectly, his recovery is without flaw, and that his return has no issues.

At that point, the Nets may be one of the worst teams in the league. Howard will be staring at going to a team he'd have to claw out of the cellar alongside Deron Williams with, after having had to likely give up even more assets to account for the instability of Lopez' situation. While Howard would be looking at the big picture with regards to playing in Brooklyn the next six seasons, these superstars want to win now, every year, and don't want to risk missing the playoffs even a single season. The Magic would be then trading for a seven-foot center with a foot injury, which hasn't gone well in the history of the NBA. That damages the Nets' leverage in the package they'd have to give up, which would mean Howard would be giving his commitment to a team with nearly nothing on roster outside of Deron Williams.

Which isn't wholly different from what Carmelo Anthony did. But the Knicks were at least in playoff position at the time of the trade. Without Lopez, we see more of Johan Petro. The Nets' frontcourt, even with productive big man Kris Humphries, is going to be a near-disaster. Deron Williams is one of the top five point guards in the league, but there are limits to what even he can do.

Lopez meanwhile is faced with the balance of wanting to compete and do his job, wanting to get back on the floor as quickly as possible, and leveraging that against his long-term health. Throw in how the Nets have treated him for the past year, both in terms of his relationship with Avery Johnson and in his inecessant involvement in trade rumors, and Lopez will be rushing back from a serious injury to help a team that is clearly not invested in his future. Maybe he pushes himself just to get out of the situation, but it's not an unpleasant one, and that's before you deal with the mental and physical damage from undergoing this kind of injury process.

The Nets still have a chance at pulling off the trade which would set them up long-term in the future. But after making a huge gamble in trading for Deron Williams last season and surrendering nearly half their talent base, the Lopez injury makes the odds even worse. There's really only two ways this works out. The Nets pull of a miracle trade for Dwight Howard because he simply wants to play in Brooklyn that much, or they lose everything.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum looked spectacular in preseason play Wednesday night.
Posted on: December 4, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Tyson Chandler down to three teams?

Posted by Royce Young



Maybe when Tyson Chandler said he expected to be with a new team before training camp, he was serious. Most took it as free agent posturing, something just part of the negotiation. But it's looking like Chander could be very serious about moving on.

According to ESPN.com, talks between Chandler and the Mavericks have stalled out and he's planning on meeting face-to-face with three teams this week -- the Warriors, Rockets and Nets.
With little movement in the talks in the days since, sources say that Golden State, Houston and New Jersey have emerged as the most serious suitors for Chandler, who is widely credited with changing the defensive culture in Dallas and combining with Mavs mainstay Dirk Nowitzki to spark the franchise to its first-ever championship.
It could still be just part of the process of Chandler re-signing with Dallas though. He wants a big deal and the Mavs are making it seem as if they can't afford him unless it comes with a little hometown paycut.

The Nets could be after Chandler with an eye towards flipping him in a package to Orlando for Dwight Howard. But that's just speculation at this point. Because otherwise, it seems a bit curious that the Nets would be this interested in acquiring either Chandler or Nene, given they have Brook Lopez. Obviously they haven't been thrilled with Lopez's progression, but still, he's potentially a franchise big man already on your roster, especially considering he's just 23 compared to Nene and Chandler who are both 29.

And don't forget either: Lopez averaged 20.4 points per game last season. That's nothing to just gloss over. If you asked me, that's a player I'd keep as a cornerstone.

But the Nets want to make a major splash in order to impress Deron Williams, so they're looking for a big name free agent. Chandler could be that guy, or it could just be part of Chandler's tour to drive up interest and his price tag. There's no doubt he'd be a nice fit in Houston and Golden State has been hunting an athletic big man for a while. He's going to require a hefty number and with his injury history and age, there could be hesitation.

Don't rule out the Mavs completely though. Chandler hasn't signed anywhere yet and you know he wants to return to Big D. It's just about the numbers right now.
Posted on: November 24, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: November 24, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Report:Lopez turns down Besiktas, Odom signs

By Matt Moore 

Update: In a typical sign of how flimsy these European deals are, Sportando reports that the deal with Lopez has fallen through, and it's now Lamar Odom who has agreed to a deal with Besiktas. We'll wait to see if this falls through as well. 

-------------

After whiffing on Kobe Bryant and swinging out on Kevin Love, it looks like Besiktas has its next NBA star to go with Deron Williams. Sportando reports that Brook Lopez will head to Turkey to join Williams for the duration of the NBA Lockout, via Kartal Basket. 

That makes two Nets on Besiktas, and could help with developing chemistry between Lopez and Williams. Which, if the entire season is lost, won't be much help since Williams may bolt in free agency, and the Nets could jettison Lopez in restricted free agency. But it still makes for a notable teammate for Williams this season in Istanbul, and more time with Williams will help Lopez regardless of where he ends up. Playing with a point guard of his caliber will do wonders for him. 

Meanwhile, Williams hasn't been suffering as of late, scoring 50 points, shooting 17-23 from the field. Not a bad day's work. 

Lopez struggled last season under Avery Johnson, and his rebounding numbers have become an area of concern for his development. But he's still one of the better low-post and high pick-and-roll players in the league and should help Besiktas this season.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 2:53 am
 

The EOB Elite 100, 51-60: The World Champ Jasons

Posted by Ben Golliver

Rankings by EOB Staff.

jason-kidd-jason-terry 
This is the fifth segment of the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Elite 100, counting down the top-100 players in the NBA. 

Check out the earlier installments: 100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61

As we near the halfway point in our countdown of the top-100 NBA players, we take the opportunity to honor two first-time NBA champions who share a first name, a position (guard) and an age bracket (old). Dallas guards Jason Terry and Jason Kidd were both critical components of the Mavericks' run to the 2011 NBA title, highly-skilled role players who outpaced expectations in the postseason to provide franchise forward Dirk Nowitzki with the help he needed to take down the Miami Heat

For their contributions, Terry and Kidd both find themselves in the 51-60 range, along with two Utah Jazz forwards, two polarizing big-dollar pivotmen and four other players who range from young and immensely talented to nearing their last legs.

Without further ado, let's proceed.

60. Al Jefferson, F, age 26, Utah Jazz

2011 Stats: 18.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 49.6 FG%, 20.20 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 62, 53, 62

The wide-bodied Jefferson stared basketball death in the face twice – first by playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, second by tearing his ACL – and he lived to tell about it, playing in all 82 games for the Utah Jazz last season and returning to his near 20-10 form. Jefferson can’t be mistaken for an all-around player: he’s a liability defensively, is a bit of a black hole and he doesn’t boast much range. But he can fill it up around the hoop, take up space in the paint and secure a solid portion of the boards.

There are a lot of parts in Utah’s frontcourt, especially after the Jazz used the No. 3 overall pick to select Enes Kanter, but the fit is questionable and further roster shake-up is definitely a possibility. Thanks to his big-dollar contract that extends through 2012-2013, though, Jefferson is likely to remain in place through next season as a stabilizing force in the middle surrounded by a roster in flux.

59. Brook Lopez, C, age 23, New Jersey Nets

2011 Stats: 20.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 49.2 FG%, 19.33 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 55, 67, 55

Talented, promising seven-footers are rare in the NBA, especially those who boast 20 points per game scoring ability, no major injury history and excellent character.  That’s Brook Lopez, and together his skillset and background combination is rarer than a needle in a haystack. The only problem? It’s a big one: Lopez isn’t a particularly productive rebounder and hasn’t proven to be a game-dominating force in the middle. His rebounding and block numbers took a step back in his third season as a pro and the Nets won just 24 games.

On a better team, Lopez would score less, shoot a lot less and be required to do significantly more dirty work. Still, on anybody’s team, he stands as a solid core piece.

58. Jamal Crawford, G, age 31, Atlanta Hawks

2011 Stats: 14.2 points, 3.2 assists, 1.7 rebounds, 42.1 FG%, 14.29 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 62, 57, 55

Arguably the league’s most fun scorer to watch operate, Crawford has every dribble move you could ask for, plus a pretty shooting stroke to boot. He’s fearless and fearsome with the ball in his hands and he gives the impression that he would be happy to play hoops anytime, anywhere. But during his age 30 season, and his first year under new coach Larry Drew, Crawford saw his scoring productivity take a significant step back (from 18.0 points in 2009-2010 to 2010-2011) even though his playing time remained essentially the same.

That wasn’t great news for Crawford, who was in a contract year and is likely approaching the downside of his career. His defense has long been suspect. Crawford would make an excellent role player on a contender that needed some scoring pop off of its bench and it will be quite interesting to track where he lands during free agency.  

57. Thaddeus Young, F, age 23, Philadelphia 76ers

2011 Stats: 12.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 54.1 FG%, 18.46 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 61, 61, 50

Young probably qualifies as a surprise for being so high on this list. He can thank his potential and his player efficiency rating for that. His overall efficiency is driven in large part by his high shooting percentage and an excellent scoring rate in a reserve role.

Doug Collins leaned heavily on veterans Elton Brand and Andrew Iguodala last season – shocker, I know – but Young was still able to show plenty during his turn through the frontcourt rotation, more than enough to make him a top priority for the Sixers during the free agency period. At 23, and with further development still ahead of him, Young should command a sizable offer. Philadelphia shouldn’t hesitate to match as long as it isn’t totally ludicrous.

56. Ty Lawson, G, age 23, Denver Nuggets

2011 Stats: 11.7 points, 4.7 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 50.3 FG%, 17.99 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 52, 54, 66

A favorite of the advanced stats community dating back to his time at UNC, Lawson entrenched himself as the starter in Denver, so much so that the Nuggets moved Raymond Felton, a starting caliber point guard himself, to the Portland Trail Blazers for Andre Miller, a veteran who should slide nicely into a big-minute backup role. The key to Lawson’s game is exceptional quickness and speed as well as his excellent shooting touch. That makes up for the fact that he’s often an undersized defender, and his toughness helps too.

His minutes and production should continue to rise next season. On a post-Carmelo Anthony team full of questions and free agents, plus a rotating cast of characters, Lawson is the surest thing.

55. Carlos Boozer, F, age 29, Chicago Bulls

2011 Stats: 17.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 51.0 FG%, 18.90 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 68, 47, 56

In his first season as a Chicago Bull, Boozer continued to be who we thought he would be: a multi-dimensional offensive force who doesn’t play much defense and isn’t quite reliable enough to be the No. 2 guy on a title-winning team. On paper, pairing Boozer with center Joakim Noah, a defense and rebounding specialist with energy for days, makes all the sense in the world. Injuries to both players probably slowed their acclimation together and it’s possible Year 2 for the new-look Bulls will be even more profitable than Year 1, which ended with tons of awards and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The new standard has been set though: beat the Miami Heat. A scapegoat has been established too: Boozer. The four years and 60ish million dollars remaining on his contract make the bulls eye on his back even bigger.

54. David Lee, F, age 28, Golden State Warriors

2011 Stats: 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steal, 50.7 FG%, 17.86 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 60, 58, 52

Speaking of highly-paid and polarizing power forwards, Lee was forced to deal with falling short of big expectations last season as well. Signed as a major money free agent by the Warriors in the summer of 2010, Lee was seen as the much-needed inside presence to complement an up-and-coming backcourt combination of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. Lee’s scoring numbers took a hit playing with the pair, who can each fill it up, raising questions about whether Golden State’s core needs a bit more diversity in its skillset.

All (well, most) signs point to the new Warriors ownership getting the franchise moving in the right direction; whether or not Lee is able to get back to his 2009-2010 contract year production levels will be a major factor in determining how quickly Golden State is able to reach its goal of making the playoffs.

53. Jason Terry, G, age 33, Dallas Mavericks

2011 Stats: 15.8 points, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 45.1 FG%, 15.93 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 58, 43, 59

2010-2011 wasn’t Terry’s best season statistically but there is no question that it will be the campaign he remembers most vividly when he looks back on his career when he eventually retires. Quite simply it was a dream. Terry has entered the fourth quarter of his career arc at 33 years old but he remains an excellent shooter and pick-and-roll operator with a penchant for taking and making shots at opportune moments. He has to worked around defensively because he’s undersized for his position and is getting a bit long in the tooth but Dallas found the right mix, allowing him to focus on what he does best: make shots and talk trash. A key emotional leader, Terry’s confidence never wavered in the playoffs and his swagger put an exclamation point on the Mavericks’ team effort in the Finals.

It’s likely all downhill from here for Terry. But who cares? He reached the pinnacle.

52. Paul Millsap, F, age 26, Utah Jazz

2011 Stats: 17.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, .9 blocks, 53.1 FG%, 19.83 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 54, 53, 53

Thanks to the departures of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer in the last 14 months, Millsap has improbably moved into the centerpiece mainstay role for the Jazz, at least until young forward Derrick Favors has another three or four more seasons to develop. In hindsight, Utah was extremely wise to match a toxic offer from the Portland Trail Blazers when Millsap was a restricted free agent during the summer of 2009. His work ethic, energy and consistency are unquestioned, and Millsap provides valuable contributions both inside and outside on offense.

Will he ever reach All-Star status? Probably not, especially because the Western Conference is loaded at his position. How Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin will get production from Millsap and Jefferson, while also developing Favors and Kanter, remains a bit of a mystery. Until the youngins are ready, though, Millsap is more than happy to trot out his hard hat and lunchpail game 82 nights a year.

51. Jason Kidd, G, age 38, Dallas Mavericks

2011 Stats: 7.9 points, 8.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 36.1 FG%, 14.46 PER

Composite rankings (random order): 49, 44, 64

As with Terry, the 2010-2011 season was the best of Kidd’s career, even if his production was a far cry from the days in which he put up triple-doubles on the regular. Kidd was a pleasure to watch this season as he did so many vital things so well. He knocked down open jumpers. He exhibited excellent shot selection, almost always preferring the extra pass to a contested shot of his own. He orchestrated the halfcourt offense brilliantly, knowing when it was time to force-feed Dirk Nowitzki and when it was time to swing the ball around the perimeter. He defended larger players well, using his quick hands and excellent instincts to more than make up for his lack of lateral quickness. The list goes on and on but he was about as important as any NBA player has been at the age of 38.

For all of that, he got his first ring. A fitting lifetime achievement award for a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer.

 
 
 
 
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