Brook Lopez, Andray Blatche could play together more for Nets
Spread a few size-15s away from each other in the locker room, inadvertently mimicking how things were for the better part of the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's 108-98 win over the Hornets, Andray Blatche and Brook Lopez were soaking it up.
After P.J. Carlesimo unleashed the tandem for the first time down the stretch of the game, making good on his expressed intent of giving them an extended look together when the right situation presented itself, the duo couldn't have been happier. They'd been salivating at the opportunity to be in the game together at the same time more.
Sure, they're not about to exactly conjure up memories of Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon with the Rockets in the 1980s, but totaling 14 fourth-quarter points -- and 46 points and 10 rebounds overall -- had both smiling.
"It's easier," Blatche said. "I've got somebody who's another scorer who's going to draw so much attention on him. If I get the ball in the paint, ain't nobody going to come off him. Nobody is going to come off Deron [Williams], come off Joe [Johnson], so it spreads the floor. It makes everybody's job easier in the paint."
Don't get too used to seeing it as a regular rotational thing, though. At least not right away. Carlesimo indicated that matchups still will determine when he'll go to the Blatche-Lopez combo, which has been used 10 times this season, totaling 73 minutes.
"I haven't thought about it necessarily more so in the fourth quarter," the interim coach said. "It's just something we wanted to look at and if the matchup will allow us to, yes, we'll do it again . . . Their numbers, there's been a lot of nights -- not every night -- but there's been a lot of nights where their numbers together were so good that it's just something that if the matchups allows us to, we want to do.
"And I keep saying, if we make the playoffs, there are a couple of teams in the playoffs that very much lend themselves to us playing [that way] against them."
With that in mind, given the Nets have 17 games before the postseason, they'll have to iron out some of the kinks and breakdowns that might take place defensively. "I may have made probably two or three different defensive mistakes because my brain wasn't thinking as a 'four' at the moment," Blatche said. "It was thinking as a 'five.' So I feel like once me and him get some practice time together, then things should work well with us together."
As a fellow 7-footer, naturally, Lopez sees eye-to-eye with Blatche.
"Honestly, it's just a matter of playing together in a game," he said. That's the bottom line and that'll come with experience. It will come pretty quickly, but still nonetheless with experience."