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Tough Times Aside, Johnson Thinks Lopez Returns to a "Certain Level"

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Brook Lopez has played 236 consecutive games, fourth best among active players, and is still a few days short of his 23rd birthday.  He's had some tough times lately, though, being criticized for failing to match previous seasons' rebounding and shooting numbers. He's had mono that kept him off Team USA. But until Sunday night in Atlanta, he never had a game where he didn't grab a single rebound.

After a solid stretch following the Deron Williams trade, he's had two stinkers: 10 and 2 vs. Dwight Howard and six and zero against Al Horford.  Now, it's been disclosed that he has been battling arm pain, caused by a calcium deposit, for most of the season.  No one is making excuses, least of all Lopez. 

Avery Johnson, while not happy with Lopez's performance, is optimistic things will change. "We’re used to seeing him at a certain level in a game, and he’ll get back to it next week," Johnson said.