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No Lopez Saturday, Starts Sunday

Avery Johnson told beat writers late Saturday that Brook Lopez will not play Saturday vs. the Bulls, but will start Sunday vs. the Bucks, then miss the Knicks game Monday before returning to the lineup Wednesday vs. the Magic and Dwight Howard. The Nets, said Johnson, want to avoid back-to-backs for Lopez..

The Bucks and Magic games are at Prudential Center, the Bulls and Knicks games are on the road. "It’ll definitely be good to play at home first," said Lopez. "They definitely deserve it.'' He admitted he’s a disappointed he won’t be playing Saturday, but looking forward to Sunday. "It’s a good test for my rehab, I think." He added that playing against Howard will be a "test'' for him.

Said Johnson, ’We’ve taken every precaution under the Sun. We think he’s ready and he’ll be ready to go tomorrow."

Deron Williams said whenever he returns, it will be appreciated. "We needed Brook all year. It just changes our team," said Williams. "It takes the pressure off me. It takes the pressure off Hump. It takes the pressure off Anthony. It opens things up. It's going to be a different team."