Dec 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Nets 121-120 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets' Brook Lopez: I'm better than ever

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Brook Lopez’s 2013-14 NBA season didn’t go particularly well. He had solid numbers (20.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game), but appeared in just 17 games because of a season-ending foot injury in December.

The Brooklyn Nets actually played better basketball without Lopez, emerging as one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference once the calendar flipped to 2014. But with Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston leaving in free agency and concerns about how well declining talents Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett will perform next season, Brooklyn needs a big year out of Lopez.

So, the team has to be encouraged by recent comments from Lopez to ESPN New York where the big man speaks confidently about his performance in 2014-15.

From Nets Daily:

“Like I said before, I’m not looking for any restrictions,” Lopez told ESPN New York and Newsday Friday. “I’m confident I’m gonna be able to go out there and be better than I’ve ever been. So from that standpoint, I think our timetables will be different.”

(…)

 In January, doctors reconstructed his right foot following a second fracture of his fifth metatarsal and in March, they stretched ligaments and repaired a torn tendon in his left ankle.

“We’re doing everything possible to make the transition as easy as possible, so we’re not immediately just pounding, pounding, pounding right away,” Lopez told Mike Mazzeo. “And I’m in good hands. We still have a lot of time left, and I’m confident when it comes to the outlook of the season. I’m very excited.”

Health is always the top concern for Lopez. And even though he feels great now, that doesn’t mean he can be relied on to make it through an entire 82-game season.

But if he can, and performs to the level he says he’s capable of, then a trip back to the postseason for the Nets is at least possible.

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