Brook Lopez's return is still on ice.
The Nets didn't think their starting center was quite ready to give it a go a day after practicing for the first time since getting injured Nov. 28 in Boston. So they decided to hold Lopez out of Tuesday night's matchup with the Knicks, giving him time to work his way back from a sprained ligament in his right foot.
"It's not a setback," general manager Billy King said. "It's such a long year, you want to make sure mentally that he's ready to go play an NBA game. [Monday] being his first time in five-on-five, the pace of practice is a lot different than the pace of a game. So we don't want to rush him. We want him to be 100-percent confident when he goes on the court."
Because the Nets have limited time to practice this week, given they have three more games, the plan is for the 7-footer to try to get some work in Thursday and be re-evaluated Friday.
Avery Johnson said he's not too worried about Lopez's injury.
"If really concerned is a 10, from what I see and what I'm told, I'm probably at a two," the Nets coach said. "I'm not really overly concerned."
Deron Williams thinks the Nets are better served waiting for Lopez to get completely healthy, especially with this being the third injury Lopez has suffered to his right foot in 11 months.
"We've missed him for the last five games and we just want him to take his time and get back healthy," Williams said. "We need him for the long haul, so whenever he's ready to come back, that's when we can use him."
The NBA recognized Williams for his charity work last month, applauding his efforts by giving him the Kia Community Assist Award for November. Williams garnered honors partly because of his work with his Point of Hope Foundation, which supports programs that provide research grants, resources and several in-house initiatives to assist children and families in need.
Williams, along with his family and the POH Foundation, teamed up with local organization "Neighbors Together" and served more than 200 meals to families affected by superstorm Sandy. In addition, Williams donated $10,000 to the Food Bank for New York City.
"I am grateful to be in a position to give back to others," Williams said, "especially given that there are so many different causes, so many different diseases, and so many people who have problems. The Point of Hope Foundation is just about helping people in need, and kids, especially."