Basketball

Around the NBA: Nets' Lopez not shining

There's been some second-guessing of the Charlotte Bobcats, for passing over Stanford center Brook Lopez to draft Texas point guard D.J. Augustin.

Augustin has been up-and-down, but Lopez, despite a 25-point game Friday, hasn't exactly shined. He shot 4-of-17 in a recent five-game stretch. That's 13 points in 81 minutes. Guys who make their living as a low-post scorer just aren't supposed to shoot like that.

Can the New York Knicks make Stephon Marbury feel any more unwelcome? Given a choice between activating center Eddy Curry (whose knee was too sore to play) or Marbury, the Knicks activated Curry, despite Marbury being perfectly healthy.

Asked why he wouldn't activate the guy who could actually play, coach Mike D'Antoni said he wanted “to play my guys,” which Marbury obviously isn't.

The Sacramento Kings regret losing Hedo Turkoglu to Orlando in free-agency a few years ago and they'd love to make a trade to get him back.

That's not as far-fetched as it sounds, because the Magic is paying so much for Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson. The team might not have the wiggle room to re-sign Turkoglu when he reaches free-agency this summer. So trading him for something lesser, but more affordable, is plausible.

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell chuckled recently when some Toronto writers marveled at Larry Brown being so effective, as a 68-year-old NBA coach.

“Larry can go coach a basketball game in his sleep,” said Mitchell, who played for Brown as an Indiana Pacer. “Does he watch film? Yeah, but does he watch hours and hours? No. He don't need to. What is somebody going to do that he hasn't seen?

“The one thing I learned from Larry and the one thing I keep emphasizing to our players and to our coaches, is worry about yourself first. Make sure that whatever your team is trying to do, they are as good at doing it as possible.”

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