When Brook Lopez left for his first All-Star Game, the Nets expected him to come back with a confidence boost. Instead, he’s looked ordinary — or worse — more often than not since returning.
That was the case again last night, as Lopez finished with nine points on 3-for-10 shooting as the Nets lost 76-72 to the Grizzlies.
“Without question,” Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said when asked if there was a confidence issue with his center.
For the third time in four games since the break, Carlesimo opted to go with Lopez’s backup, Andray Blatche, in the fourth quarter of the Nets’ 76-72 loss to the Grizzlies. And it was hard to argue with him, as while Lopez was struggling, Blatche finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and a blocked shot.
“I thought that [Blatche] was playing very well on both ends and I thought he was giving us good defense,” Carlesimo said. “Marc [Gasol] really hurt us early, and then I thought after that we did a really good job, whether it was him or Darrell [Arthur].”
Lopez, who left the locker room without speaking to the media, was abused by Gasol in the first quarter, setting the tone for how the night would play out. Gasol went 3-for-4 for eight points and also had two assists while Lopez went 0-for-3 and didn’t score.
In three of the four games the Nets have played since the break — the first two games against Milwaukee and last night — Lopez has sat for all but 6.7 seconds of a combined 36 minutes of fourth quarter action, and has gone a combined 12-for-40 from the field in those three games.
Nets’ ‘Star’ center hits a new ‘Lo’ in loss to Grizzlies
New York Post | Feb 25