Brook Lopez is officially back.
Lopez was listed as “probable” by the Nets heading into the game, leaving open a sliver of doubt about the possibility he’d return. But Lionel Hollins spoke at length about getting Lopez back in the swing of things against the Thunder, adding that he’ll have to be effective to stay on the floor but not expecting any restrictions.
Lopez will start with Deron Williams, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Johnson, and Kevin Garnett.
Lopez hasn’t played in a regular season game since December 20th, 2013, when he broke his foot in an overtime game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Hollins had one main goal for Lopez, and it wasn’t a statistical benchmark, just a physical one. “Make sure he doesn’t trip over his tongue,” the coach cracked. “Get him out of the game before his tongue gets that low.”
Deron Williams expressed excitement at his big man’s return, confident that the Nets could re-integrate Lopez easily.
“He’s been out there,” Williams said of Lopez. “He’s been in practice. He was there pretty much all of training camp, and most of the preseason. We got some games with him under our belt. A guy like that is pretty much easy to integrate, because you can throw the ball to him and he can go to work. You don’t have to worry about him.”