Is Brook Lopez a top-10 player?

Gerald Wallace, Brook LopezLeBron James. Dwyane Wade. Chris Paul. Kevin Durant. Brook Lopez?

Maybe not so far-fetched.

David Thorpe of ESPN.com put together an excellent breakdown on ESPN Insider of how Lopez has evolved since his days at Stanford, noting that his NBA 4th-best PER is not an accident, but a recognition of the type of player Lopez has become in his fourth season. Thorpe says that Lopez is playing with an important distinction: “like a skilled big man rather than a big man trying to show off his skills.” One example:

Observers and talent evaluators always saw amazing value in Lopez because he had both the size and the skill to be a dominant center in a league that has few such big men. Now that he is using his physical talents more than ever, his skill game shines even brighter.

Watching Lopez in the low post as the Nets’ first option is a treat. We see him employ methodical post moves — banging his man before shooting an easy jumper from 9 feet away. Then he’ll use a quick attack move for the layup. And because Lopez can shoot, he likes to face up. If the defender stays low, readying himself for contact if Lopez bodies him down into the paint, Lopez will just shoot over the crouched defender. That is a smart move, especially if Lopez is gaining good position his initial catch.

Thorpe is one of the sharpest NBA evaluators around, and his analysis is one of the best given to Lopez by a national writer all year. Give it a read.

Read More: David Thorpe, ESPN — How Brook Lopez has become a top 10 player

Comments

  1. The added muscle I think is the biggest thing. He’s got confidence to go in strong against the defenders instead of doing fad-away hook shots.

    This is the first season he is playing like a DOMINANT big man instead of a finesse big-man.

    1. sorry to say but unless he scores 30 points/game he is a weakness–his poor play on defense is really a shame!!

      1. You think so? I wouldn’t say he is defensive player of the year, he isn’t shutting opponents down, but I think he has reached the level where his defense isn’t a liability anymore.

        1. There is another Net that is supposed to be a top ten player. if that ever comes to fruition, then the Nets will be a legitimate threat to win the East.

  2. I think he is

    On a per minute basis, Lopez is the 7th best scorer

    http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/player/_/stat/scoring-per-48-minutes

    Notice how he is the only person on this list who doesnt shoot 3s (STAT doesnt count because he only has played 16 games)

    Plus he wrecks defensive schemes. Almost every team in the NBA plays outside in on offense. This has led to more centers being of the Tyson Chandler, Noah type; mobile weakside shot blockers. They are ill equipped to play 1on1 vs Lopez. This takes a teams strength and turns it into a weakness. Now the hleper needs the help. If DWill, JJ and Crash weren’t playing so poorly, this would be obvious.

    The best part for the Nets is that Lopez is just starting to scratch his potential. His defensive awareness is improving by the game and his strength is only going to increase.

    The Nets made a mistake by building the team around DWill. I think the team will make future moves with Lopez in mind. They can start by adding a few more capable shooters to open up the paint.