Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson gave center Brook Lopez the night off to rest in game 3 of the season and the Nets fought valiantly and still almost stole a victory against the Bucks. In game 4 Lopez was back to defend Brooklyn’s home floor against the new-look Chicago Bulls, but he logged just 20 minutes as the Nets surrendered early. Jeremy Lin said before the season that the Nets would grind and gut it out all season to improve. Doesn’t look like Atkinson is letting them.
Lin, who came to Brooklyn to get the minutes he’s been seeking since — well, since forever — played just 23 minutes despite shooting 60% from the floor and scoring 14 points. In Brooklyn’s four games so far, Lin is averaging just 29.8 minutes — only about three more than he averaged as a reserve in Charlotte, and only four more than he averaged during his miserable season on the Lakers under Byron Scott. The Bulls established control early, yes. But in the last two games Lin and Lopez have played a total of 20 minutes together. Improvement will be hard to find in trace amounts of playing time. Lin and Lopez deserve a chance to grind.