MIAMI -- Avery Johnson said Brook Lopez's health is improving. Just not enough for the center to practice Monday after he's re-evaluated.

"No, no, no, no," the Nets' coach said Saturday night. "That would be a miracle. We'll see. That would be a miracle, and I believe in miracles."

Lopez has a ligament sprain at the top of his right foot, his third injury to that foot in less than 12 months. The 7-footer strolled through the Nets' locker room before the game against the Heat, still with a noticeable limp. Johnson said the plan is to take it slow with the team's leading scorer.

"He's feeling pretty good," Johnson said. "We'll keep treating him. I think the conservative approach is the way to go with Lopez . . . He'll have to practice at some point before I can feel confident about putting him on the floor. So until that happens, he's not going to play."


Spoelstra: Nets on track

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With the Nets tied with the Knicks at 11-4 atop the Atlantic Division entering Saturday night's game, Erik Spoelstra couldn't help but give the Nets their props.

Perhaps it was a little gamesmanship, but the Heat coach praised the Nets for coming together so quickly.

"They're probably a little bit ahead of schedule," he said, "but we anticipated they would be a contending team as soon as they signed all these guys."


Wade misses Stack

Dwyane Wade was sad to see Jerry Stackhouse leave after playing only one season for the Heat in 2010-11.

"He's one of those guys that when he's not your teammate, you hear stories, you're kind of leery," Wade said. "But when he's your teammate, you love him because he's not what you expect. I'm happy for his success."