Two nights after playing, arguably, one of his best games of the season against the Dallas Mavericks (22 points, 13 rebounds), Brook Lopez played what certainly could have been his worst game of the year. Cosmetically speaking, his numbers were almost on par with what we've seen from Lopez since Hollins opted to have him come off the bench -- 6 points, 5 rebounds in 17-plus minutes. However, his hustle and game awareness was just flat-out terrible.
Case in point, the GIF above, courtesy of The Brooklyn Game, shows a moment in the third quarter when the Nets were still "in this one" against the Celtics, where Lopez gave up on a live ball, allowing Jae Crowder to pick up and and, ultimately, scored two points (via free throws) and put the Celtics up by nine points.
Boston went on to win the game, 89-81, and afterwards, when asked, coach Lionel Hollins didn't hold back his feelings on that play in particular.
When asked, Hollins said that Lopez was "being lazy." "That's all," he said.
Lopez, when asked, said that he "didn't realize" Crowder was behind him, going on that he "expected better" from himself. Mason Plumlee seconded that notion, not specifically calling out Lopez, but certainly pointing to the fact that there were "several" Nets who weren't running after the ball.
Here's Lopez on that particular moment:
It's no secret that Lopez has had a rough season, especially since returning from injury and being relegated to coming off the bench. The laziness, however, isn't a way to get back into the good graces of head coach Lionel Hollins. With him, it doesn't matter how much money you're making or how many All-Star games you've played in, it's about earning your minutes on the court today and, at the very least, showing that you have the awareness, want and desire to be out there.
Listen to Hollins call Lopez "lazy" (2:25-mark):
- Nets Lack Of Hustle On Display In Loss To Boston Celtics (GIF) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Lopez struggles, Deron aggravates injury as Nets lose to C's - Stefan Bondy - NY Daily News
- Celtics 89, Nets 81; Brook's bad night in BK - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN
Is Lionel Hollins losing the room? - Brian Erni - SNY Nets