Just What Could The Nets Get For Brook Lopez? Part II

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


by Justis Doucet


Resolution: Keep firing three-pointers, but use your length on the defensive boards to limit second-chance points


The NBA has turned into a shooter's league and that’s no exception for traditional NBA big men. This year, Brook Lopez has extended his range outside the arc, connecting on 37% of his three-pointers this season -- but it's a completely new unearthed skill for the center. Looking back on his career numbers, this adaptation to his game has come out of the blue entirely. Prior to this season, Lopez had shot 31 deep bombs as a career-total; but through 28 games this season alone, he’s hit 57 of 153. 


So, yeah, that's a game-changer for the once-nearly-extinct big man.


To this point, Lopez has often been the difference between a five point loss and a twenty point loss this season for the Nets, which is kind of what we expected. Lopez’s shooting has drastically improved his game too, as he’s able to drag opposing centers out of the paint, which opens it up for either Trevor Booker's insane offensive rebounds or for guards driving to the basket as the opposing shot rim protector must guard Lopez in the corner.


Although Atkinson and Lopez have made the decision for the big man not to really play in back-to-backs, this has obviously hurt the Nets in the win column, but with an eye of long-term health, it's tough to get too upset about that.


Lopez is nearing career-highs in most categories, and his scoring average of 20.5 a game is two-tenths off his career-best. In addition, he has quadrupled his assist numbers over the last two years (0.7 per game to just a hair under 3), a remarkable improvement for a veteran at the center position. With Lopez now scoring from outside, his inside numbers have improved as defenders must cover more space on the floor, seeing as, on top of the 37% three-point percentage, he’s shooting 53% from two-point range -- the third highest mark of his nine-year career.


One thing that Lopez could hope to improve on for the 2017 calendar year is rebounding. You've likely read two trillion (guesstimate) articles about Lopez's poor rebounding numbers and while he's always surrounded by strong players in that category (Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries, Trevor Booker, etc), he could stand to help out a bit more there. Of course, as he finds himself out by the three-point line more and more, those numbers aren't likely to rise -- but, hey, Lopez can't do it all by himself, so he mostly gets a pass there.

Just What Could The Nets Get For Brook Lopez? Part II [If you missed our first entry in this series — and the trades with the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Phoenix Suns — you can check that out over here.] … Considering his current contract — at $20 million a year — runs […]

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