The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Chicago Bulls 110-91 Monday night to force a game six. After losing three games straight, the Nets came out dominating, shooting 50% from the field and outrebounding the Bulls. A major factor in this series has been points in the paint with focus on Nets center Brook Lopez and Bulls center Joakim Noah. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has been carefully monitoring Noah’s minutes as he deals with plantar fasciitis. Still Noah has been a major key in the Bulls success along with point guard Nate Robinson. Last night however there was a shift and Brook Lopez was the anchor. Lopez dropped 28 points and 10 rebounds. “You seen the look in his eyes tonight, he had it going, he was rebounding the ball, he was scoring the ball, of course he’s been great defensively for us all series, he’s blocked shots and clogging up the paint,” said Nets point guard Deron Williams.
There’s been a growing debate on where Lopez stands in the best center in the league argument. One thing that’s clear, Lopez is definitely the best offensive center. He’s the leading scorer for the Nets averaging 19.4 points per game for the season and 23.6 points in the playoffs. In addition to his 7-foot body clogging the paint, he also has an outside shot that most big men don’t possess. When asked his opinion on the matter Deron Williams responded, “Centers, it’s hard to put one or two guys in front of him the way he’s played this year. The way he’s played all season, he’s just stepped his game up a lot.” Lopez was often left out of the conversation that mostly surrounded Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum but with Bynum missing the entire season with injury and Howard playing with the downtrodden Lakers, Lopez has jumped in recognition. He was often seen as inferior and had to deal with being possibly replaced by Howard much of the offseason as Deron Williams addressed. “We talked about it all year, I think he had a chip on his shoulder with all the Dwight rumors, the injuries last year and all the things that gone on, I think that just kind of got him going”, Deron said. “He worked real hard this summer and has been great for us all year.” The hard work has indeed paid off as so far he’s been worth the $60 million max deal the Nets gave him.
You can check out more of Deron Williams post game thoughts below.