Name: Brook Lopez
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
2016-17 Regular Season Traditional Stats: 20.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.7 bpg, 47.4 FG%, 34.6 3PT%, 81.0 FT%
2016-17 Regular Season Advanced Stats: 20.4 PER, 57.8 TS%, 4.9 WS, 1.9 OBPM, -0.4 DBPM, 2.0 VORP
Brook Lopez has been the best player on the Brooklyn Nets for many years. Yes, even when they had guys like Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Paul Pierce. He has been the most consistent part of their offense, and someone that the team has been able to rely on. This is evident in the fact that he is fifth all-time in win shares in Nets franchise history. So, seeing what he was capable of doing for that team made it surprising that he could do any more than he was already contributing.
Go back to this past season. Lopez averaged 5.2 attempts per game from beyond the arc. Before last season, his highest attempts per game in a season was just 0.2. There have only been two centers in NBA history to shoot at least 34% from three on at least 200 total attempts in a season. Other than Brook Lopez, the only other center to do so was Marc Gasol. Oh, plus Lopez attempted 119 more threes than Gasol.
Now, let’s go back to Lopez’s bread and butter. He added the three-point shot to his game, but he still possesses a very good post game on top of that. Within 0-3 feet of the hoop, he shoots 67.5% and shoots 48% from 3-10 feet. On post-ups, Lopez was shooting above 50% this past season. So, he continues to prove that he can be in the upper echelon of scoring big men.
Let’s look at his biggest weakness though. After the fifth worst season in Nets history, Lopez did suffer some regressions in the defensive department. His rebounding took a hit from past seasons, and he wasn’t much of a defensive presence in the paint. Most of his energy, along with the rest of the team, seemed to be focused on the offensive end so that they could at least try to outgun other teams rather than stop them. He has shown that he’s capable of playing defense, but has not sustained that play so far.
Now that Lopez is finally on a team that has some hope for the future, and some serious threats on the perimeter, he’ll be able to show fans that they’ve been sleeping on him in Brooklyn. His name was never considered when arguing about top big men or even scoring big men. Los Angeles is where all the lights are brighter and the pressure is greater. This is Brook Lopez’s time to prove what he’s worth.