|Brook has only played seven seconds in the fourth quarters of three of the Nets' last four games (H/T to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com). That has to end, now|
The Nets have played four games since the NBA All-Star break, winning the first two, vs. Milwaukee, and losing the last two, vs. Houston and Memphis.
Interestingly enough, in these four games, Brooklyn's only All-Star representative — Brook Lopez — has been a major non-factor down the stretch, when the score is close and a basket here or there could be the difference between a win or a loss.
And what is to blame?
Is it that Reggie Evans or Andray Blatche has superseded the Nets' star center in the fourth quarters of these game? No. The culprit would be head coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Brooklyn's interim skipper, after back-to-back crushing home losses vs. the Rockets and Grizzlies, on Friday and Sunday nights respectively, is starting to regret his confusing decision to bench Brook at the end of the team's post-All-Star-break games.
From ESPNNewYork's Mike Mazzeo: "I don't worry … that Brook will let it bother him or Brook will hold a grudge," said Carlesimo, who has been benching Lopez in favor of Andray Blatche. "Fortunately for me, Brook is very, very good that way. He cares about the team, he's supportive of Dray when Dray's in the game. Watch our bench: He's usually one of the more active guys on the bench when he's not in the game.
Carlesimo seems to want to take back how he has handled Lopez's playing time since the break but very thinly tries to blame his reasoning on the fact that Brook's numbers have just been slightly lower than before the All-Star Game around weeks ago.
At least P.J. — and Brook for that matter — will get another chance to work out the kinks between them and a fluid and effective offensive system tonight as Lopez takes on the New Orleans Hornets and his twin brother Robin. Even if Carlesimo does not feel as if Brook can play the 36 minutes a game we know he can, he should give him a little more time tonight as the brothers from Stanford face off in the Big Easy.
It is going to be interesting how much PT Brook gets overall and per quarter.