Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
Avery Johnson was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for October and November on Monday after the Nets went 11-4 in November. The 11 wins in November is a franchise-best, while the 11-4 mark is the best start in franchise history.
The Nets were 7-1 at the newly-built Barclays Center in November and, at one point, were the top team in the NBA’s Atlantic Division. The Nets also went 8-2 against 2011-12 playoff teams. They ranked second in the NBA in team scoring defense, holding opponents to 90.4 points per game.
This is the fourth time Johnson has won a Coach of the Month award, but the first time he has won it as head coach of the Nets. Johnson previously won the award as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, winning it in April 2005, November 2005 and January 2006.
Many thought that New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson would have won the award, but Johnson and the Nets 11-4 start beat Woodson out. Mike Woodson also led his team to a surprising 11-4 start, but one of those four losses included a 96-89 overtime loss at the Nets on Nov. 26.
Maybe that made a difference.
Lopez reevaluated, remains day-to-day
Injured center Brook Lopez (ligament sprain to the mid-foot) was reevaluated on Monday in New York by Team Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Riley Williams, and Nets Foot and Ankle Consultant, Dr. Martin O’Malley.
A precautionary MRI was taken but it was negative and Lopez is being called day-to-day.
Thought at first to be a mild ankle sprain, Lopez injured his foot on Nov. 28 during the a game at the Boston Celtics. Since then, Lopez has missed the Nets two games, a Nov. 30 win at the Orlando Magic and a Dec. 1 loss at the Miami Heat.
Dr. Williams released a statement saying the injury was a ligament sprain to the mid-foot and that Lopez would be reevaluated on Dec. 3 in New York.
Although the Nets haven’t officially ruled Lopez out, it seems unlikely that he will play on Tuesday when the Nets host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center.
The Nets are obviously being cautious with Lopez, who re-signed with the club in the offseason on a four year contract worth about $61 million. Last season, Lopez missed all but five games due to a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. He suffered the injury in the preseason and missed the first 32 games of the 2011-12 season.
Upon his return, he played five games, re-injured the foot on March 4 and was shut down for the remainder of the season.
Lopez’s foot has been a sensitive topic since the 7-footer previously suffered an injury to the same foot, but at this point, all indications are that the current injury is unrelated to the previous one and that Lopez shouldn’t miss too much time.
After the Nets host the Thunder on Tuesday, they will continue their homestand with games against the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks, respectively.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA