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For Brook Lopez, the time is now

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

In talking with the media, a number of Nets players and coaches have singled out Brook Lopez when asked who's looked good in scrimmages and now practice.

Said Rondae Hollis-Jefferson...

"Brook has impressed me, with his hook shots, with his foot work. It's been nice. I wish I had foot work like that. To be be seven-foot and have foot work like that, it's pretty incredible."

And his coach...

"He's really good when we're in the flow, of finding holes in finding holes, getting in those holes and in the circle between the dots and the charge line, he's almost money."

Not bad for a guy who was 20 minutes from being traded for Reggie Jackson at the deadline. Now, after dominating in March and April, Lopez is the featured player on the Nets, and in their promotions.  Most importantly, he is free of injury concerns, having just spent his first summer in four years not rehabbing from something.

Now, he's moving into a new phase of his career.  He's not satisfied scoring and rebounding. He knows he needs to be a better distributor ... and a leader, he told Mike Mazzeo.

"I think it's again becoming more of a leader on the court, and becoming a playmaker in general," he said. "A lot of times in my career, I've been the end point, the termination point of a lot of plays, just scoring the ball. I'd like to be in a position to have plays run through me and share the ball, make plays. Still score, obviously, but make plays, as well."

The leadership won't come that easy for the 27-year-old, but he knows (as does Thaddeus Young) that it's what is expected of him. It will be be new ... and different.

"He definitely has two different personalities. Brook is a stone-cold killer on the court, but off the court he has a different personality -- he's just chill and laid back."

He's changed things up before as he rehabbed from injury. Now, he has to again, this time from strength.