NBA / Aug 21, 2014 / 2:45 pm

A Lighter Brook Lopez Is Ready For His Return

Brook Lopez

Brook Lopez (Howard Smith- USA TODAY Sports)

Brook Lopez appeared in just 17 games last season. He had season-ending foot surgery in January, and is eager to get back on the court. Lopez was at a youth health lifestyle clinic at Barclays Center yesterday and looked noticeably thinner.

Via Tim Bontemps of The New York Post, Lopez looked well below the 290 pounds he weighed in at last season:

“I’m at my playing weight,” Lopez said with a laugh. “I can attribute that to laying in bed for months, but I’m back to the weight that’s normal for me. Last I checked, I was just under 275 [pounds].”

The Nets center said last year’s bigger frame had nothing to do with the fractured fifth metatarsal he suffered in Philadelphia on Dec. 20.

“I may have been five pounds heavier, but that’s not what injured me,” he said.

In his brief time on the court last season, Lopez averaged 20.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 56.3 percent from the field. The rebounding numbers always leave fans feeling underwhelmed, and it’s a bit disappointing Lopez has never averaged double digits in rebounds as a 7-foot NBA center.

But when he’s healthy and involved, Lopez is one of the best offensive centers in the game, and someone opposing teams have to game plan for:

Of course, when Lopez returns, he’ll be coming back to a much different team. Paul Pierce is now a Washington Wizard, and Jason Kidd is now coaching the Bucks.

This is good news for Lopez though, because Lionel Hollins comes from Memphis where he did tremendous work getting the most out of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Lopez seems excited to be teaming up with Hollins:

“I love what he did in Memphis,” Lopez said. “He had some great teams out there, and my high school teammate Quincy [Pondexter] played for him, and learned a lot under him, and grew as a player. So I hope to do the same.”

The Atlantic Division looks to be a two-team race this season between the Nets and the Toronto Raptors. If Lopez can come back healthy, it might give Brooklyn the edge they need to win the division and perhaps surprise a few pundits in the postseason.

What do you think?

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  • Onaje

    My first reaction was “Yawn”, but in reality Brook Lopez is a big difference maker for the Nets…there are many night you can just force feed him and run back down the floor and just count the buckets…he was also increasing the range on his J…he didn’t just shoot 56% from the field on dunks…he probably (easily) had more mid-range Js than dunks…

    The rebounding and being a presence in the paint will be an issue, but the 1.8 blocks is respectable and if healthy he will probably have his best year this year, with the him being the best option…for consistent scoring on that team…If only he, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams ever had some chemistry develop between them…

  • 2cents

    So on the money with that post Onaje. I agree Brooks is a massive difference maker. As much as I hate to admit it, but had Brooks been on the court, I doubt my Raptors even get to game 7.

    I wonder why players don’t admit to weight being an issue for injuries. I actually think all this extra muscle/weight is contributing to a lot of issues in the game today. Players used to be lighter/faster and played for longer without all these devasting injuries.

  • NY CHRI$$$ ????????????.????????????????????

    Disappointed paul pierce left but fuck that nigga BROOKLYN