Friday, February 22, 2013

Lopez Not Being Benched; Hump, MarShon Remain With Nets

P.J. Carlesimo does not plan on making a habit of benching all-star center Brook Lopez in the fourth quarter like he has the last two games.
“I don’t like doing that,” Carlesimo said Friday. “It’s not something I want to do on a regular basis, and it’s something that’s probably not good for Brook.”
In the last two games against the Milwaukee Bucks, Brook Lopez played a combined seven seconds in the fourth quarter. Carlesimo says that Lopez is suffering from "an all-star hangover." Lopez, of course, has handled this with class and professionalism. He has praised Andray Blatche's play in the fourth quarter and says he understands why he isn't playing.

“I thought Dray was playing well both games,” Lopez said. “I thought for most of the first game I played well, I just didn’t play well in overtime. And in the second game, I just didn’t play well at all. That was that. But I feel good, honestly, and the most important thing our bench has been very strong.”
Blatche has indeed had a couple of solid games against the Bucks, especially on Wednesday when he put up 14 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, while Brook struggled scoring just nine points on 3/13 shooting.

With their names being tossed around in trade rumors the past couple of months, both Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks will remain with the Nets for the remainder of the season after Billy King failed to pull off a trade for Josh Smith.

Humphries, in response to questions about trade rumors said:
“It’s not really a relief because I've been doing this for a while. It’s just a part of February is trade season, so it’s like anything else. But we've got our guys that we’re moving forward and focusing on trying to end the year strong and get a good spot for the playoffs.”
Asked how tough it is to play through trade rumors, Humphries says “well if you want to help us with that, don’t ask us questions about it."

MarShon Brooks added that: 
“I know what team I’m going to be on, so that’s nice to know, just to have that sense of security, just knowing that you’re going to be here for the rest of the season is a great feeling.
After two years of trade rumors, starting with the Dwightmare in December of 2011, both Humphries and Brooks have an opportunity to play out the rest of the season with the Nets and for Brooks, he will most likely get his first taste of the NBA playoffs. Neither player is safe from trade come July, so if they truly want to remain where they are right now they will have to prove their worth on the court and show Billy King that he will not regret keeping them for the remainder of the season.

Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York

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