If the Brooklyn Nets are going to compete for a championship this season, they are going to do it without their best player as Brook Lopez is done for the year with a broken foot, according to Gary Tanguay of CSNNE.com and confirmed by Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News.
Lopez reportedly broke his foot late in the fourth quarter against the Sixers on Friday night and played the rest of the quarter plus overtime. He left after the game without speaking with reporters.
This is obviously a huge blow for the Nets. Lopez has averaged 23.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes with a 62.9 true shooting percentage in 17 games. Lopez is owed $14.7 million this season and has two years and $32.4 million left after this season.
This is just the latest foot injury for Lopez, who missed the most of the 2011-12 season with a couple of foot injuries. He’s had three surgeries on the foot already and is coming off of surgery this past offseason on the foot to fix a screw that was bent. It’s been reported that it is the same bone, the fifth metatarsal, that he broke in the past.
Without Lopez it seems very hard to see the Nets seriously competing with the other top teams for a championship. This likely makes Andray Blatche the starting center with Reggie Evans and Kevin Garnett helping out. The problem, though, is that Evans has been a mess this season and KG has not been capable of playing even 20 minutes a night most nights. So not only is a championship probably out of the picture, if it even was in the picture yesterday, but even a trip to the playoffs may prove difficult.