Nets' Lopez (foot) out until at least Friday
Nets GM Billy King and head coach Avery Johnson both confirmed on Tuesday that Lopez would miss not only Tuesday night’s “Battle of the Boroughs” against the Knicks at Barclays Center, but also Wednesday’s game against the Raptors in Toronto.
"We don't want to rush him; we want him to be 100 percent confident when he goes on the court,” King said during the morning shootaround. “There's nothing wrong with his foot MRI-wise; it's just him getting ready to play in an NBA game. It's a long season and we want to get him back where he's the best to play,” King said.
Johnson confirmed in his pre-game press conference that Lopez will not accompany the team to Canada, instead staying behind in Brooklyn for treatment. Coming in to Tuesday, the Nets were 1-4 without Lopez (and 10-4 with him), and Johnson said that the team was still a work in progress without their starting center.
“In a lot of games, Brook has been our best players, and our most consistent player, so not having him in the lineup, with the blocked shots and helping us at the basket, we’re going to need to be better defensively,” Johnson said. “Brook’s not going to be there for us when we gamble defensively.”
Lopez did go through a 5-on-5 practice Monday, so the hope is he’ll be ready to return for this weekend’s back-to-back against the Pistons (Friday at Barclays Center) and Bulls (Saturday in Chicago). Even if he doesn’t, though, Johnson isn’t concerned long-term.
“We’ll work him out on Thursday, see how he recovers, and see where we are. We’ll do the same Friday, and so on,” Johnson said. “He’s going to come back 100 percent whenever that is, it’s just not now – but if (the concern level) were a one-to-ten scale where 10 is really concerned, then from what I’ve seen and heard, I’d probably be at about a two.”
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