Nets Center Brook Lopez was honored for the second straight week with the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award on Monday. The Nets also announced that Earl Clark has been signed to a multi-year contract.
LOPEZ NAMED EASTERN PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN:
Brook Lopez was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, March 30 through Sunday, April 5. This is the second straight week Lopez has been honored with this, and these are the first times he has earned this in his career. He becomes the first NBA player this season and the first player in Nets’ history to win the award in consecutive weeks.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said of Lopez on Monday night, “Well, first I’d like to congratulate Brook. I saw where he hadn’t won the honor in seven years and now he’s won it back-to-back for the first time in Nets history, and he’s earned it with his play. He’s been very focused, been very committed to playing at a high level, which starts us all off. His effort has been good all around the board, and as I told him many times early in the year, it’s not just your scoring, but it’s your overall play and your ability to affect the game and help your team win, and he’s been doing that along with some other players that have been on our team – I think Deron’s played extremely well. It goes back to, again, when we made the deal to get Thaddeus (Young), we changed the dynamics of our team as far as quickness and how we’re going to play, and then Markel (Brown) coming into the lineup. I think with all of those factors, the team just came together and accepted their roles a lot better and players have played well. It always comes down to the end, you’ve got to play well, and our team has done that.”
Lopez is the 23rd Nets’ player to capture the award a total of 41 times. Deron Williams previously won the award this season for games played from November 3-9. Lopez led the Nets to a 3-1 week, with averages of 20.8 ppg on 59.4 percent shooting, 10.3 rpg and 2.0 bpg in 36.0 mpg. He posted two double-doubles and one 30-point game during his most recent four-game stretch.
Lopez kicked off the week by posting a team-high 24 points (11-of-17 FG), a game-high 11 rebounds and two blocks in 40 minutes in a 111-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center on Tuesday, March 31st. The next night, he had 18 points (9-of-15 FG), seven rebounds and a game-high five blocks in 34 minutes against the Knicks on Wednesday. He got the game-winning basket on a put-back with 2.0 seconds to play to break a 98-98 tie and give the Nets a 100-98 victory at Madison Square Garden.
On Friday, Lopez put up 30 points on 13-of-24 shooting, a game-high 17 rebounds (including a career-high-tying 10 offensive rebounds) and one block in 44 minutes in a 114-109 win over the Toronto Raptors in Brooklyn. He finished off the week by recording 11 points (5-of-8 FG) and six rebounds in just 26 minutes in the blowout loss to the Hawks in Atlanta on Saturday.
CLARK: FROM 10-DAY TO A MULTI-YEAR DEAL
Nets General Manager Billy King announced on Monday that Earl Clark was signed to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.
Clark was signed by the Nets to a 10-day contract on March 27. In his first game, on the 27th, he scored 7 points in the third quarter of the Nets’ win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has appeared in five games for the Nets, averaging 4.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said of his input into signing Clark, “Well, we needed another forward, a bigger forward, more-experienced forward. He can shoot the ball, although lately he hasn’t been, but I know his history is that he can shoot and what’s surprised me since he’s been here is his ability to rebound and I like that.”
Clark (6’10”, 234) is a five-year NBA veteran who was originally selected with the 14th pick of the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Prior to joining the Nets, Clark, 27, saw action with the Suns (2009-10), Orlando Magic (2010-12), Los Angeles Lakers (2012-13), Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-14) and New York Knicks (2014). In 256 career games (54 starts), Clark holds NBA averages of 4.4 points on 40.2 percent shooting, including 32.7 percent from three-point range, and 3.0 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. His most productive season came with the Lakers in 2012-13, when Clark recorded career-highs for games played (59), starts (36), points per game (7.3), rebounds per game (5.5), assists per game (1.1) and minutes per game (23.1). The Plainfield, N.J. native has also appeared in 13 playoff games (one start) with the Suns, Magic and Lakers, posting career playoff averages of 3.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game. Most recently, Clark appeared in 19 games with the Shandong Flaming Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association during the 2014-15 season, where he averaged 26.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game.