Brook Lopez played only 12 minutes Tuesday, but looked unstoppable, scoring 15 points on 6-of-7 from the floor and filling the lane on defense. Playing at 290 pounds, Lopez looked like a different player, even from last year's playoffs when he averaged 22.3 and 7.4 vs. the Bulls.
People are noticing. Here's what Kevin Garnett said after the game.
"I'm just in awe a little bit, just being honest with everybody," Garnett said. "His skill level is impressive and I haven't been around a skill level like that versus playing [against one] I don't think ever. So, this is an adjustment for me. I'm just making sure I'm keying in on that and making sure the two of us is on the same page."
Andrei Kirlenko was duly impressed as well.
"He is tremendous," Kirilenko said. "He was so efficient. Other than scoring points, he's such a great presence inside. He puts so much pressure [on the defense], so it creates a lot of opportunities for the wings. Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce had a great time slashing in and out because Brook was putting so much pressure on inside."
But the biggest compliment may have come from Nene, who couldn't handle him in the post.
"You seen Lopez? It seems like Reggie been teaching Lopez to hold people on the block," said Nene. "It’s hard to have energy for him because he just does one thing (demonstrates a hold). Just plays physical. I’m not that kind of guy."
Indeed, Rod Boone reports Reggie Evans took Lopez under his wing last season and got him in the weight room more, trying to instill a mentality inside him to help his game blossom. Looks like it's going to work.
- Kevin Garnett 'in awe' of Nets center Brook Lopez - Rod Boone - Newsday
- KG 'in awe a little bit' of Lopez - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- 2-on-2: Previewing the Nets - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Brook Lopez: The Best Center Kevin Garnett Has Played With? - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Bulked-up Lopez makes dent in Nets preseason opener - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Stephen Curry, other NBA stars help needy overseas - Jeff Zillgitt - USA Today
- Bench enthusiasm hyping up Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Paul Pierce moving on from Celtics days, adapting to Nets - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett Give the Brooklyn Nets a Voice—a Loud One - Howard Beck - Bleacher Report
5 Breakout Players - Brian Geltzeiler - Hoopscritic