Brook Lopez faces twin Robin in another civil war skirmish
NEW ORLEANS -- P.J. Carlesimo had the tale the tape between Brook Lopez and his twin brother Robin pegged.
"Brook with the haircut is more streamlined and I expect him to move better," the Nets interim coach said, "especially if there's any kind of wind or any kind of strong air conditioning in the building. I think that will be a major factor."
No one was going to confuse the Lopez brothers on this night, particularly with Brook's buzz cut and Robin's curly free-flowing locks. But the spotlight was on their individual matchup in Tuesday night's game at New Orleans Arena, as the Nets came to the Big Easy looking to swat the Hornets and end a two-game slide.
Brook surely got the better of Robin in the first half, posting 10 points, three rebounds and three rebounds while Robin netted six points and collected a pair of boards.
"It definitely is a very unique experience," Brook said before the game. "Unique is the perfect word. I'm glad that I get to share this experience with my brother, going through it exactly at the same time he's going through it. There's nothing like it in the world."
After all, it's not every day that two brothers face off in an NBA game and with their older brother and mother in the stands. The Lopez brothers have squared off in the league six times previously with Robin coming up the winner four times. Brook had his reason why he's been on the losing end more often that not.
"I mean, we won 12 games one year," he said. "C'mon. Give me a break."
But there's a good chance Robin wasn't bragging about having the upperhand recordwise to Brook during Monday night's family dinner. Along with their mother, they were out celebrating the birthday of their older brother Alex, breaking bread at one of the city's many fine establishments.
Brook and Robin were more likely to talk about comic books or random quotes from cartoons than discuss how things are going on the hardwood. They leave the basketball chatter to everyone else in the family.
"They probably enjoy it more than we do," Brook said. "My mom will come in with either a Nets shirt and Hornets hat or vice versa. I tried to give her my jersey."
Lopez had been benched by Carlesimo in favor of Andray Blatche in the fourth quarter in three of the Nets' previous four games, a strategy the Nets interim coach coach thinks he had gone too far with. But Lopez maintained he hasn't been bothered by being glued to the bench during crunch time lately.
"My confidence is probably as high as it's ever been," Lopez said. "Playing along with a center like Dray, he can spell you at any time. You know he's going to come in and give the team great minutes. So I can definitely be confident and have faith the team is going to be all right when he's in."
Still, even with Blatche's offensive repertoire, Monty Williams knows Lopez's skills are on another level.
"He's an All-Star, so he's seeing a number of defense now," the Hornets coach said. "So I'm not sure you are going to fool him. I think you've got to give him a different medicine. I'm sure Robin has some family knowledge of his brother. Maybe that will pay off for us in the game."