Is Brook Lopez ready for the playoffs?
Reggie Evans laughed.
“Brook’s probably what, a top-2 big man? Brook showing you everything. (He’s) a whole different person right now, and that’s in a good way. Can’t nobody stop him. The only person that can stop Brook is Brook. That’s it. (He’s) a beast right now, on a mission right now. It’s great to be playing beside him.”
What makes it so that “when they mention big men, they mention his name?” According to Evans, it’s the offensive threat Lopez poses at the end of games:“We can go to him at the end of the game. What big man can you really say you can go to at the end of the game to get a bucket from at the end with confindence? Even if he does miss, he gets fouled. What big man are you gonna have confidence, like, ‘I’m gonna relax at the free throw line, he can hit these’?”
The praise didn’t stop there, as Evans went on to highlight Brook’s focus and work ethic this season. From blocking to time in the weight room, Lopez has put in the necessary time so that “there ain’t no flaws in Lo.” The Bearded assassin gushed, “He’s stayed consistent with his work ethic, his preparation for practice, his preparation for treatment, making sure he’s physically ready.”
Evans, known for a rigorous work ethic of his own, takes credit for some of Lopez’s increased effort. “When he sees me come early, he comes early. It’s almost like ‘Reggie’s got 11 years in the league, I can’t be late. I gotta do this.” He later joked that Lopez once came in three and a half hours before a game, and the team ribbed Evans for coming in later.
Reggie spoke of the Nets starting big men as brothers in arms. “No matter how tired we is, we still stick to the same regiment. No matter how many minutes we might have played the night before in a back-to-back, we stick with the same thing.”
But what if their opponents are using the floor and they can’t practice? The odd-couple will do what any couple does: sit in the locker room and talk. Unless, of course Brook is “on his comic books and stuff like that. He’s a comic book fanatic.”
When asked what wisdom the veteran forward imparted on the playoff rookie heading into the Bulls series, Evans said that “everything just totally different;” everything, from the media (“this is our first practice, I’m seeing faces I haven’t seen all season”) to the intensity (“everything is at an all time high; from the referees, the fans, the ball boys, the janitors”).