Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stat Line of the Day: April 7th

B. Lopez (NJ): 44 minutes, 39 points (14-20 FG), 7 rebounds, 3 assists
Lopez has been quietly having a good year in Jersey
When your point guard is named Deron Williams, and he goes down with a wrist injury, that's usually not a very good sign for your team. It's even worse when your team happens to be the already 24-54 New Jersey Nets, where it's tough to say things have been going well, at least lately. However, the Nets do have a few new faces in town from the Williams trade, so some chemistry work is to be expected. With Williams out, someone else needed to step up, and that someone was Brook Lopez, the third-year center out of Stanford. Lopez (above) set a career high with 39 points in a loss to the Detroit Pistons, the eighth time this season he's broken the 30-point barrier. The athletic seven-footer is averaging a career-high 20.0 ppg to go along with six boards and a little more than a block per game. You'd like to see Lopez get closer to the 8.6 rebounds he averaged last year, but the Nets are taking more outside shots this season (1280 this season with a few games remaining compared to 1182 all of last year), which leads to longer rebounds, which detract from the center getting boards. Either way it's still something to improve upon, as Lopez is only 23 years old. Either way, the season high in points on such an effective shooting night gets Lopez our stat line of the night.

Honorable Mentions:

C. Ward (CAR): 42 saves, 0 goals against vs. Red Wings
Unfortunately for the Carolina Hurricanes, they're still down two points to the Rangers for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with just two games to go. Fortunately for the Carolina Hurricanes, they have Cam Ward in net. Ward has been hot lately for the Panthers, putting up a 2.14 GAA in March with a 93.3 save %, and in his first three games in April those numbers have dropped to 1.31 and .962%, respectively. The Hurricanes still need to win their final two games (at the Thrashers and then against the Lightening at home) and hope the Rangers drop one of their final two to make the playoffs, but a 42-save shutout against the Red Wings was a huge game at the most critical of times.

T. Lincecum (SF): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 13 K vs. Padres
Tim Lincecum is one of those pitchers we would expect to see appearing often in this column, as he loves to put up huge strikeout numbers. This was his second start of the season, and he's managed to keep his ERA at a respectable 0.64 through his first 14 innings of work. He's put up double-digit strikeout lines often in his career, so we'll keep an eye out and see how many times he'll break this 13-K mark set in the first full week of the regular season.

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