68° Good Evening
68° Good Evening

Kenny Atkinson mulling whether to rest Brook Lopez again

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez dunks the ball

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez dunks the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Barclays Center on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It was one thing for the Nets to rest Brook Lopez for the second game of a back-to-back in the third game of the season when Jeremy Lin was healthy. But with Lin on the shelf nursing a strained left hamstring, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson Tuesday night indicated he still was undecided about how to handle Lopez in the second game of a back-to-back set against the Knicks Wednesday night at the Garden.

Asked for his plans before the game against the Timberwolves at Barclays Center, Atkinson said, “The plan is to evaluate how it goes [against the T-wolves] and see how many minutes he plays. We’ll look at that and make a decision [Wednesday] on what we want to do.”

A fan of Brook

Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau was impressed by how Lopez has adjusted to being asked to shoot three-pointers in Atkinson’s offense. He was 6-for-14 from three in the previous two games before Minnesota after going 4-for-38 in 490 previous career regular-season games.

“He’s always had great touch for a guy that size,” Thibodeau said. “His skill set is very unusual — the back to the basket, the pick and pop, the pick and roll, the touch from 17 feet and now to extend it to the three, you always felt he had that capability. The thing that gets overlooked is his playmaking ability. If you lose vision, he’s very unselfish and a very good passer.”

Lin may travel

Lin previously said he hopes to join the Nets on their five-game road trip while he rehabs, but Atkinson said no decision has been made. “He’s progressing and doing a great job,” Atkinson said. “He’s anxious like all players coming back from injury, but we haven’t made a decision.” . . . Sean Kilpatrick led the NBA in scoring by a reserve at 17.0 points per game before Tuesday night, and the Nets ranked second in bench scoring at 44.7.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports