Brook Lopez had a solid outing for the second straight night, as the Nets held on for a 103-100 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is the second win with P.J. Carlesimo at the helm, and the effect on Lopez is apparent.
The offense in these two games has looked as crisp as it ever has this season, with Lopez playing near the hoop most of the time, as he should.
Lopez had 35 points, a season-high, after a 26-point outing on Friday vs. Charlotte. He made 13 of 20 shots, and most of those were from close range, which they should be.
By playing down low on offense, it is translating to him being a more forceful player, as he notched 11 rebounds, a season high, five of which were on the offensive end.
Lopez is now looking like he is fully over the foot injury which cost him two weeks to start December and no doubt contributed to their struggles.
One difference also is the role of Keith Bogans in the starting five instead of Kris Humphries. With Bogans out there as the second forward with Gerald Wallace, the offense has a different look because Bogans plays with a guard’s mentality.
Bogans can facilitate plays along with Deron Williams, which is taking some pressure off Williams in the sense that he is not responsible for setting up every play.
In 20 minutes of play, Bogans had three points and one assist, but it is unclear how many “hockey assists,” which means passing to a player who sets up a scoring play, he had. He is as pure an intangible player as they have.
Another player with the intangibles needed to win is Reggie Evans, as he had six points and three rebounds in the fourth quarter. For the game, Evans had seven points and 10 rebounds.
Another positive in this game was that Jerry Stackhouse looks like he’s getting the scoring touch back. He scored eight points on 3-for-5 shooting.
POSTGAME VIDEO WITH CARLESIMO, LOPEZ, AND EVANS: