Lopez: "I just need to play stronger"

Before practice started this morning, Avery Johnson had the players watch film of Saturday's spanking to the Heat, 101-89, and he kept directing his eyes to a certain someone. "Avery was talking about tissue paper the whole film session," Brook Lopez said. "He was practically looking at me. That’s a tough task when you’re facing the screen and I’m behind you" (The Star-Ledger). The bottom line? Johnson doesn't want Lopez to play soft. "He has to be more aggressive," Johnson said (New York Daily News). Lopez agreed, saying, "I think I just need to slow down a little bit and just play stronger," but he also recognizes that everyone has to establish their ground better (HoopsWorld.com). "That's something we've got to have more of, more toughness" (New York Post). And that's just what the Nets' practice focused on today. "They were hollering, 'No layups!' the whole time," Lopez said afterwards. "We tried to contest every one. A few got away, but we tried to contest every one and had a lot of hard fouls" (The Star-Ledger).

Nets notes:

  • Travis Outlaw, who's been off to a slow start this season (he's averaging 8.5 ppg), says he's getting more adjusted to the team, which he thinks can make the playoffs (HoopsWorld.com). "I'm getting comfortable, but I'm still figuring out everybody. For the most part, I'm starting to see where I can get my points at ... We are definitely the underdog in a lot of cases and I think this team can come together. I think we can [make the playoffs]. It's just going to take hard work and we know there's no shortcuts."

  • While former Nets forward Trenton Hassell is organizing his own AAU basketball league, which is holding tryouts for boys and girls on December 4 in Clarksville, Tennessee, he is talking to a couple of NBA teams about making a return (The Leaf Chronicle). "A natural fit for Trenton would be a team that could contend -- a Miami or something like that," said his financial advisor, Jeff Cates. "That would be a good fit for a role player like he is. He's a good defender for any team that's loaded up with offensive talent already."

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