Daily Link: Avery Optimistic About Brook

It hasn’t been a good weekend for Brook Lopez, and this, in all likelihood is going to be an ongoing storyline headed into next season (along with the presumed lockout): can Brook Lopez consistently get his groove back, and if so, will he even be in a Nets uniform?

We’ll ignore the latter part for now, and stick with the former. Avery Johnson is confident in Brook, who apparently has been playing with an arm injury for most of the season (though he’s not making excuses).

Johnson tried to be diplomatic when asked about Lopez. He mentioned that the 7-foot center had a problem with an arm injury (which Lopez said happened late in the game and had nothing to do with how he played). When asked later specifically about Lopez’s effort, Johnson admitted it was lacking something.

“We’re used to seeing him at a certain level in a game, and he’ll get back to it next week,” Johnson said.

When Lopez plays like he did Friday and Saturday, he doesn’t even look like an NBA-level starter, no less a top 10 player at his position. I know we, as fans, are quick to jump on a player when they are underperforming, but there’s no question that since Deron William’s injury, Lopez has looked listless and uninterested. Combine that with a high quantity of games over the course of the past few weeks and this injury we’re just learning about, and I would think that Lopez may be mentally shutting it down right about now.