The home opener vs. Oklahoma City will have a little more drama Monday. The big question in so many ways is whether Brook Lopez will play for the Nets.
He spoke Saturday in Detroit with Nets beat writers, telling them he is pain-free and close to getting back on the court, as Andy Vasquez of The Record reported.
"I feel great," Lopez told writers. "I want to be back out there. I’m going to go through practice [Sunday] and hopefully play Monday."
When asked if he had a setback, Lopez responded, shook his head, laughed and replied sarcastically, according to Vasquez.
"Yeah, we’re just hiding stuff from you guys," Lopez said. "Completely."
Lopez said he’ll go through a pregame workout at the arena, adding there are no limits.
"I can run on it, I can wash it, I can swim with it, all that stuff," Lopez said. "I’m thrilled. I don’t like sitting out, it’s probably my least favorite thing in the world. I want to be back out there with my guys, help them out and be there for my teammates."
Before the game, Lionel Hollins was asked if he was encouraged by Lopez being able to shoot around in Detroit.
"No, its not encouraging. He's not playing so to see him out there means nothing to me right now," he said. "I'm happy he's able to be out there and do stuff and he's not in a cast, but he's not playing."
Meanwhile, two of the writers who heard Hollins say he wasn't "optimistic" about Lopez's return expressed frustration with the changing story on Lopez's availability.
.@BK2014NBAChamps I don’t think you can trust any day as an "expected" return for Brook anymore.— devin kharpertian (@uuords) November 1, 2014
This much is clear: Brook Lopez is hurt and the Nets aren’t going to rush him back. But it seems more serious than they expected.— devin kharpertian (@uuords) November 1, 2014
Nets set a timeline of 10-to-14 days for Lopez, say he's healing faster than expected, keep him out longer, blame media for asking questions— Stefan Bondy (@nydninternets) November 1, 2014
Still, it's a big improvement over Friday's suggestion that Lopez's injury could keep him out indefinitely.
- Brook Lopez to practice Sunday, try to play Monday - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Brook Lopez back on Monday? - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York