Brook Lopez has finished below .500 in five of the seven seasons he's been in the league. He knows what it's like to lose. Nonetheless, he's one of the very few that know what 12-70 feels like.
He's the only Net that remains from the 12-70 squad. Therefore, he knows bad times when he sees them. The Nets are 1-9 at the moment, but don't tell Lopez that. The big fella seems to be in optimistic spirits despite the rocky start.
Here's what he told beat writers Monday at the team's practice facility:
"We haven't had guys quitting," Lopez said. "It definitely doesn't feel like other previous seasons, where we, you know, had a losing season and sort of losing mentality to go with it. We have a very positive group here."
Lopez missed what would've been the game-winning tip-in in the final seconds of a 107-99 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors. He averaged 16 points on the three-game West coast trip, but shot just 36 percent from the floor and was absolutely torched by DeMarcus Cousins in a loss to the Kings.
Like usual, he finds the good in most situations.
"It's very positive, because you can just see improvement - first and foremost in our effort, and then technique-wise, as well, especially on the defensive end," Lopez said. "Team defense. It needs to continue. We've been playing a lot of good teams in this beginning portion of the season and we've been capable of winning each game. It just hasn't happened yet. But we're going to get there."
They're staying positive, but it hasn't been easy. The Nets have played a playoff team in eight of the first 10 games they've played, with seven of the 10 on the road and three sets of back-to-backs. It's played its role in some pretty hefty minutes and a minor injury for the big fella.
Brook hurt his surgically repaired foot against the Milwaukee Bucks but has yet to sit out this season. In fact, he's doing quite the opposite after playing close to 38 minutes per game on the three-game trip. He was given the practice off so he could rest in time for another back-to-back, this time starting Tuesday in Brook against the Atlanta Hawks.
"I feel good," Lopez said. "I'm ready to go. I'm just happy to be able to be out there and contribute."