Nets center Brook Lopez was named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, December 28 through Sunday, January 3.
This is the third NBA Player of the Week honor of Lopez’s career and first Player of the Week honor for the Nets this season. This also marks the 42nd time in franchise history a Nets’ player has earned Player of the Week honors, and Lopez is one of 23 different Nets to earn the honor.
Lopez led the Nets to a 2-1 week, averaging 26.7 ppg, 13.3 rpg and 2.3 bpg in 37.5 mpg and shooting 42.4 percent from the field and 88.9 percent from the free throw line. In the three-game stretch, Lopez totaled three double-doubles and one 30-point game, while leading or tying for the team-lead in scoring and rebounding in all three games. He also became the fifth player in the franchise’s NBA history to reach 24 or more points and 12 or more rebounds in three straight games.
The Nets’ center began the week with 26 points and 12 rebounds in Brooklyn’s 111-105 road victory in Miami on December 28. Lopez then posted 24 points with a season-high 15 rebounds and five blocks in the Nets’ 100-93 loss in Orlando on December 30. With his outing against the Magic, Lopez became just the third player this season to post 20 or more points, 15 or more rebounds and five or more blocks in the same game. He capped the week with a Nets’ season-high 30 points and 13 rebounds January 2 as Brooklyn topped the Celtics 100-97 in Boston.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said before Monday night’s game of the honor for Lopez, “He’s having a good year overall, averaging nearly 20 points, eight rebounds a game. I think what he has done recently has benefited the team, in that we’ve played much better. We’ve gotten some wins, been in a lot of close games, and that elevated him to the position of Player of the Week. His numbers haven’t changed that much, you know, they’re elevated slightly.
“I think when Brook plays the way he played the other night, where even though he scored, he shared the ball out of the double-team, made good decisions. Those are the things we need from Brook all the time, and he’s been giving it to us and I’m sure that contributed to him having more success because, when they double and you give it up and somebody else is scoring. Next thing you know, the double-team isn’t coming as hard.
“He’s earned it and he’s played well and we need him to continue to play well. We need to continue to play well,” said Hollins.