With the Philadelphia 76ers losing to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, the Brooklyn Nets clinched a spot in the NBA Playoffs in their first season since the team moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn. It’s also the first time that the Nets organization will be in the postseason since 2007. One person that has to be happy about that is Brook Lopez.
Lopez was drafted by the Nets in 2008 and has been with the team for his entire five-year career. In the four seasons that he had played prior to this year the Nets had never won more than 34 games in a season. Even more depressing than that was their 2009-2010 season where they finished with an abysmal 12-70 record. Lopez also only played five games last season because of injury.
So for Lopez and the Nets to be a part of the playoffs this season has to be quite redeeming. They have come a long way from where they were just a couple of years ago. It also seems fitting that Lopez has had a breakout year this season as well. This season he has averaged 19 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game and is shooting 52.3 percent from the field, the second-highest percentage of his career.
Lopez has developed into an above-average center in the NBA and it has really helped the Nets this season, as has the additions of Joe Johnson and the re-signing of Deron Williams. The Nets are headed to the playoffs. They may not win a championship, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve come a long way from the past few years.