New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets

Brook Lopez out two games (at least) with foot sprain


Andray Blatche, it’s time for your close-up.

Blatche will become the Nets starting center the next two games because Brook Lopez will be out with a mild sprain of his right foot, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

This could be a bigger blow if Kris Humphries is suspended for his part in the fight with Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics that spilled into the stands Wednesday night. That would remove the entire starting front line of the Nets.

They should be okay for the first game against Orlando. The second game against Miami could be more of a challenge. Even if they had all their players.

While you have been busy mocking his new max contract, Lopez has been busy having a career year and helping get the Nets off to a fast 10-4 start. He is averaging 18.5 points a game on a career best 53.4 percent shooting. But he was always smooth on the offensive end, it was his defense and rebounding that were the knocks. Well he is more focused on rebounds, not putting up great numbers but grabbing the highest percentage of available rebounds he has in three seasons. In addition his blocked shots are at an all-time high of 2.5 a game. He’s improved. And the Nets will miss him.

But we’re all excited to see Blatche start. Because he is fully capable of either playing brilliantly or being a train wreck. And either will be entertaining to watch.

Report: No criminal charges to be filed against Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes
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The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).

However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.

Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.

Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.

Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.

If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Knicks will be better. Slightly.

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I like the Knicks’ offseason moves. Well, not blowing the meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge before it ever started — you say the right things and take him to a nice dinner because that is the kind of elite player you need to try to land. Take the meeting.

However, bringing in Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo were smart pickups, and I like the Kristaps Porzingis draft pick more than many (although we need a couple of years to see how good he will really be). Combine that with a healthy Carmelo Anthony and…

The Knicks suck less. They aren’t good, but they aren’t embarrassing. And that is step one, as I discuss with Jenna Corrado in this latest PBT Extra.