NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Nets center Brook Lopez struggled mightily in Brooklyn’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night at Barclays Center.
The All-Star went just 3-for-10 from the floor and finished with nine points. For the third time since the All-Star break, interim coach P.J. Carlesimo decided to sit Lopez in favor of backup Andray Blatche in the fourth quarter.
In the first game after the break against the Bucks, the former first-round pick went 6-for-17 from the floor and dropped 19 points. In the back end of the home-and-home series with Milwaukee, Lopez went 3-for-13 for nine points.
He resurrected himself with a 27-point effort this past Friday against the Rockets, but took a step back on Sunday night.
So what’s wrong with the big man who was so successful in the first half of the season? Is it a mental issue or a physical one?
Carlesimo admitted that the 24-year-old is struggling with his confidence.
“Without question,” Carlesimo said when asked if he thinks there is something wrong with his center’s current mindset.
Blatche ended up performing well in Lopez’s absence, scoring 10 points to go along with 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).”
Following the disappointing defeat, Lopez exited the locker room without taking questions from reporters.
The 7-footer has been the Nets’ most valuable player this season. He’s started 50 games for Brooklyn and is averaging 18.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 30.3 minutes per game.
Is Carlesimo managing his center’s minutes properly? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…