Thursday, May 15, 2014
Lopez: I may need to adjust my style
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brook Lopez, still recovering from season-ending surgery on his foot and ankle, admitted that he may have to change his style of play.
The Brooklyn Nets struggled running their offense through Lopez in the low-post, but turned their season around after he was lost for the year by going small.
“Um, I think so,” Lopez replied Thursday when asked if he’d need to change his style of play to fit the team’s new system under head coach Jason Kidd. “I really haven’t gotten to try that much, obviously. But you know, I’m sure there would be some adjustments to be made.”
“It was pretty up-and-down [the system], I think I’d have to get back to running the floor,” Lopez added. “But I think like I said there would be adjustments to be made. I don’t think I can sit here and say what I’d be doing.”
Despite undergoing multiple surgeries, Lopez believes he can return to All-Star form. “No question,” he said.
Lopez has had his share of critics that wonder if he can come back from all these surgeries. “I’ve been questioned a lot,” Lopez said. “I’m not worried that.”
Lopez, 26, averaged 20.7 points on 56.3 percent shooting in 17 games in 2013-14.
Asked how he’s been doing since undergoing ankle surgery in March, Lopez said, “It’s going well. I’ve been doing lots of pool workouts, lifting, spot shooting, you know, doing everything I can. Obviously we don’t want to rush anything, though.”
As far as what the next step is, Lopez replied, “Losing this little air cast on my left ankle, that’s in two weeks.”
Lopez has “no idea” when he’ll return to basketball activity, but GM Billy King has reiterated that Lopez is expected to be ready by training camp.
Many felt the Nets could’ve used Lopez in their second-round series against the Miami Heat. Their centers -- Kevin Garnett, Andray Blatche and Mason Plumlee -- all struggled against the Heat.
“I just wanted to be out there with them. Our guys did a great job, you know. The ball bounces a different way once or twice and we have a 3-2 series lead right now. But it went the way it was; it was tough. The guys just fought so hard. It’s a difficult outcome to accept. But I definitely wanted to be out there.”
Lopez underwent successful left ankle surgery on March 3 to repair a torn tendon and tighten lateral ligaments. He fractured his fifth metatarsal of his right foot on Jan. 20 in Philadelphia, and underwent surgery to repair that injury on Jan. 4.
Lopez also had a second procedure on Jan. 4, called a first metatarsal osteotomy, in which another bone was repositioned in his foot to unload and protect the injured area. Lopez previously fractured the same fifth metatarsal in December 2011, and later had a screw replaced in it this past offseason.
Asked if he was going to come in lighter to take pressure off the foot -- Lopez was 290 pounds at the time of the injury -- Lopez replied, “Um, we’ll see where that goes. I don’t know. I don’t know right now. It’s all a lot of skepticism.”
Lopez plans to rehab in the New York City area for the majority of the summer.
He says his foot feels much better. “It feels like there’s more pressure on that inside of the foot. They’re trying to displace it more evenly,” Lopez said.
Lopez says he hasn’t run just yet. “It was very different when I put pressure on (my foot) for the very first time,” he said. “It took me awhile to get balance, especially since I was on a boot on my left foot.”