Brook Lopez's increased production and aggressiveness offensively has earned him praise from one of his toughest critics - his coach. But Avery Johnson still wants Lopez to be more assertive on the boards. "We want the rebounds," Johnson said. "I think it says something about you. OK, maybe it's not going to be 12, but it shouldn't be five." Lopez has enjoyed his best scoring stretch of the season lately, if not his three-year career. The Nets' center has scored at least 20 points in nine of 11 games and 26 or more six times. But Lopez hasn't shaken his season-long rebounding slump. He has grabbed four boards or fewer in six of his last 11 games and is averaging 5.7 this season. "When he boxes his man out and there's a ball in his vicinity - which may happen three, four, five, six, seven times a game - and he doesn't go get it, we're not OK with that," Johnson said. "I don't want to underestimate his physicality. He's much more physical inside than earlier in the year. But there are times where his pursuit can be a little bit better, and he's working to improve that." Johnson doesn't want Lopez to think so much about it that it affects his offense, because he's in such a good groove. Lopez has helped the Nets to five wins in their last six home games. They hope to extend to 6-of-7 tonight against Philadelphia. Johnson said the change in Lopez is that he's making "quick moves," showing more "decisiveness" and making the right pass out of double teams.
Net result: Brook Lopez is on the up
Bergen Record | Feb 2