We think of Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young as a unit: two guys who when paired make the other better. It was evident in their play after the deadline. The Nets went 17-15 with the two of them on the court together and as they got better acquainted, the team's record and their performances got better too.
They won 13 of their last 19 regular season games and had their only real winning streak --six games. Lopez looked unstoppable down low with six 30-point performances and Young got a lot of open shots. Surprisingly, he had the highest three point percentage on the team --38 percent.
The two 27-year-olds spoke freely about their growing relationship --and roles-- at the free agency press conference.
"Now that we’re signed long-term, We’re the future and we have to accept that leadership role and we’ve already been talking about how we’re going to lead this team and how we’re going to lure some other guys in and help us potentially one day try to get to a championship," Young said.
Young reiterated those feelings in Las Vegas where he, Lopez and other Nets showed up to support the summer league team. In an interview with the Nets Kat Przybyla, Young spoke about the long-term possibilities now that the he and Brook wlll have a chance to mesh from Day 1.
"It’ll be much different. You have time to prepare for the situation. You get a chance to mesh with your teammates before you walk into a game. When I got traded, I just walked right into a game," he said.
"The good thing is that I’ve got a couple months under my belt with the team. This summer and preseason I’ll have a chance to play with a bunch of the guys and get a feel."
What's he hoping for? "Going to build up the team unity and cohesiveness with the group and we’re going to be up-tempo, athletic and we’re going to play hard every night."
So put aside talk of the kids they signed after locking up Lopez and Young. The Nets are going to be anchored long-term by their center and power forward.
- Young and Restless - Kat Przybala - Brooklyn Nets