When Brook Lopez was out last season, Jeremy Bettle, the team's strength and conditioning coach, got him on a regimen to bulk up. It's worked. He weighed in at 280 pounds Saturday, 15 pounds more than he did his rookie season four years ago.
It's made a big difference in his play. His defense has improved, his rebounding has improved, his offense has improved. On Tuesday, he may or may not go up against his nemesis, Dwight Howard, depending on D12's back and shoulder pain. If he does, the Nets believe he will be better prepared.
"We've got a 7-footer with presence around the basket," P.J. Carlesimo told Newsday. "It's night and day. His attention to defense is so much better than it was before and it's helped our team defense significantly."
Lopez says the year off helped and not just the weight training.
"I got to spend lots of time in the weight room and watching film," he noted. "I know all good defenses have a good big man in the middle."
Is he ready for Howard? Are the Nets ready to move on from the Dwightmare?
- Here comes the Dwightmare - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Bulked-up Brook big for Brooklyn - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Brook Lopez a big reason for Nets' improved defense - Stephen Haynes - Newsday
- Lopez outplaying could-have-been Nets center Howard this season - Stefan Bondy - NY Daily News
- Brook Lopez faces potential tough test against Lakers and Dwight Howard - Brian Lewis - New York Post
Deron Williams Interview (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Brook Lopez's Defensive Improvement in Brooklyn (Video) - The Brooklyn Game