Will Nets Have Brook Lopez in time for Pistons?

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Is it Brook Lopez or Andray Blatche in the middle Friday?

The Nets will try to extend their winning streak Friday when the Pistons, led by Lawrence Frank, make their first appearance at Barclays Center. But the big question is the availability of Brook Lopez for the first time in seven games. David Aldridge tweeted Thursday afternoon that "Nets expect to have Brook Lopez (foot sprain) back either Friday against Detroit or Saturday in Chicago. Has practiced without pain." Lopez may be physically ready but still not mentally ready to test his foot.

The Pistons are in their second year of rebuilding under Frank. By the looks of it, the rebuilding is showing promise but is still a ways away from producing a playoff run. They're 7-17 overall, and a miserable 2-11 on the road. There are a number of positives: Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, 22 and 21 respectively, are their leading scorers and Andre Drummond, all 6'10" and 270 pounds of him, is 19 and showing signs of extraordinary potential. Kyle Singler, who sat out last year in Europe, is proving he can play in the NBA, becoming a solid bench presence. He's 24.

Overall, they don't shoot that well, although they do get to the line, sixth in the NBA. Defensively, they're fair to middling, but bad at giving up points in the paint, giving up 43 a game, 27th in the league. But they're also a top 10 team in paint scoring, also at 43 per game. They're good at building leads, bad at keeping them. The Pistons have held a double-digit lead in eight of their 17 losses. About what you'd expect from a young club.

Frank, a New Jersey native, called the Nets move to Brooklyn "bittersweet." "You hate to see your state lose a team," Frank said. "Yet at the same time, I do know all the equity that they put into it. I'm happy for them." Frank was a Nets guest at the first Jay-Z concert, opening night of the arena.

For the Nets, there are some who are suggesting that it's time for Deron Williams to take some time off. No indication whatsover that's going to happen, not with him saying, in somewhat of a hyperbole, that he hasn't played a dominant game all year.

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