There is one point about Nets center Brook Lopez that frequently gets lost. No, not his rebounding. That gets talked about a lot Many times unfairly. No, not his shooting. He is among the most accurate big men from any sort of distance. Go on. Try his age. The guy is 24 years old. Twenty-four. That makes him younger than the vast majority of NBA centers. Younger than Chris Kaman and Tyson Chandler (both 30). Younger than Chris Bosh, Marc Gasol, Andrew Bogut and Al Jefferson (all 28). The list continues: Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard (both 27); Roy Hibbert and Al Horford (both 26). He even has Robin Lopez beat by like 15 minutes. Who is younger? DeMarcus Cousins (but would you really want him?), Greg Monroe and Nikola Vucevic (all 22) and Enes Kanter (20). So the Nets — anybody for that matter — could do a lot worse than a 24-year-old, career-17.6 scorer headed to his first All-Star Game. Yes, by his own admission, he was horrible down the stretch of last night’s 92-83 home loss to the Lakers. “Those last 2 1/2 minutes were about as bad as I’ve played on both ends of the floor all season,” Lopez said. But most of the night, he was about all the Nets had offensively. He scored 30 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots before disappearing and missing his last two shots. Hey, 24, remember? “People have a tendency to forget that. We don’t,” Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said of the Lopez age factor. “All the conversations for years have been he’s one of the best bigs in the league right now and he’s going to be around for a long time.” And yet most Nets fans would throw Lopez under a bus for the chance to add Howard. Lopez has heard it all. Forever. You tend to develop an immunity. Lopez would rather talk about what he has learned going against Howard, rather than how he has learned to deal with the chatter. “I probably learned it’s five guys guarding one when you’re playing a really good player like him,” said Lopez, who has been trashed in his head-to-head battles against Howard — he is 1-11 against Howard who sat out (shoulder) last night.
Just 24, Lopez’s star continues to rise for Nets
New York Post | Feb 6