Brook Lopez was looking like an up and coming star in the NBA after his first two years in the league.
He had it all for a young center: great low post game, decent mid-range jump shot, rebounding and shot-blocking ability. He was listed as nearly untouchable by several NBA writers.
But this year, Lopez has dropped off. His rebounding numbers have dropped precipitously. He doesn't get as close to the basket on offense as he used to. He doesn't even seem to try for rebounds.
But there's hope, Nets fans. Because for the last few games, Brook Lopez is BACK. Since Deron Williams joined the Nets, Lopez, like almost all the other Nets, has been reenergized. Since Deron joined the squad Lopez has averaged 8.5 rebounds per game, including 3 out of 4 double-doubles in his last four. He is staying back on defense to grab those loose boards. He is going at the hoop and getting his points, at a higher level than pre-Deron, at 24.5 PPG. He is even blocking shots on the defensive end and playing with an overall intensity we have not seen this year.
So as has been believed by numerous fans on this blog, me included, Lopez's rebounding issues this year have not been purely due to ability. It has been psychological. And now he is restored to his past self, and as he has improved his offense this year, I see Lopez as a future 22-9 guy who can help Deron Williams lead this team into the promised land.
Welcome back, Brook Lopez.