NEWARK, N.J. -- Brook Lopez has enough talent to become an NBA All-Star center. And at times Lopez shows that type of potential.
In the Nets' past four games, however, he hasn't.
Lopez was stifled on the offensive end again Tuesday night, this time by bruising Cleveland banger Anderson Varejao, who limited the 22-year-old to just 6-of-18 from the field. Lopez is now 20 for his last 69 in the field-goal shooting department in the past four games.
"I could've attacked the basket more," said Lopez, who finished with 16 points and eight rebounds in the Nets' 93-91 loss. "I was taking my normal shots, they just weren't going in."
Not with Varejao draped all over him, bodying him up and anticipating his moves in the post.
"He's just always moving," Lopez said.
Varejao's physicality certainly bothered Lopez in the first half. He shot just 3-for-8. And when Lopez finally got it going during a short spurt in the second half, it was too little, too late.
"Well again, Varejao, that's his reputation," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "Now he's a starter. He's been playing behind Shaq and behind [Zydrunas] Ilgauskas. Now it's his time to show what he can do."
And now the Nets must wait for Lopez to emerge as a dominating force once again. It's been a while.