Lopez takes on O'Neal
What started out as a pretty unfortunate night for Brook Lopez following a fender-bender in his BMW near the Lincoln Tunnel, ended up evening out by the end of the first quarter against Boston.
In total, Lopez logged 23 points and four rebounds in 25 total minutes, but went right at Celtics big man Shaquille O'Neal from the beginning. Post moves that were absent on Sunday in the team's first scrimmage were out in full force against the 7-1 325-pound big man.
"He is like Tim Duncan," O'Neal said after the game. "Classy guy. You'll never hear a bad word about him. Great player."
But what surprised some turned out to be just the next installment in a matchup between O'Neal and Lopez that has yielded pretty good results for the Nets center over the last three years.
Thursday, though, turned out to be good enough to earn some extra praise from Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, who never had an up close and personal look at the two facing off before.
"I even enjoyed the Shaq vs. Brook matchup," Rivers said. "Shaq scored on Brook and then Brook went right back down and scored on Shaq. I like seeing young guys do that, even though he isn't on my team it was nice to say.
"Brook Lopez is going to be great if he continues to work. Right now, Brook is the picture of the Nets, he is the guy. He is tough and works hard.
WOW Brook really demanding respect across the league. Shaq is egotistical and for him to call Lopez one of the greatest big men EVER, in Tim Duncan means a ton. Rivers and Oneal's analysis of Brook was shocking. It was what Nets fans think of him as... a beast. A dominant, great center. He was fabulous against Boston in the preseason and the Nets looked good. Around Brook, we build!