Welcome to the season review series. Here we will be taking a look back at a few themes of the season and evaluate them. In this first edition we will be talking about the Nets rookies.
Yes I am going to be using this picture every time I mention these three rookies. The Nets’ rookies were a real bright spot this season. All three made significant contributions during the year (Brook Lopez throughout the season/Ryan Anderson towards the second half of the season/CDR towards the tail-end of the season), which is something that usually doesn’t happen (especially when you got a second rounder thrown in there). I am going to be looking at them one by one. In this post, I am going to be looking at Brook Lopez.
Brook Lopez is every one’s number two Rookie of the Year this year. I knew he was going to be a great player, but I thought it was going to take a year or two. False. Brook has been a dominant force on both ends of the court. In my mind he is a franchise type center.
Lets look at his numbers.
- Brook played in every Nets’ game and averaged 30.5 Minutes Per Game. Brook scored 13.0 PPG (11th among NBA centers/6th among rookies) and averaged 8.1 RPG (14th among NBA centers/2nd among rookies). Add in his 1.8 BPG (9th among all NBA players) and you have the complete package.
What he did well?
- He didn’t foul. Brook only averaged 3.1 fouls per game. With a guy who gets as many blocks as Brook did (especially as a rookie) this is a great thing. Compare this to Greg Oden, the guy who was supposed to be the defensive stopper among rookies. Greg had 3.9 fouls per game in about 10 minutes less time. In terms of blocks per foul, Brook averaged 1.02 blocks per foul. Greg Oden had 0.45 blocks per foul. This can be attributed to his knowledge of the game, solid footwork, and fantastic timing.
- He was fantastic from the line. Yes, I said fantastic. Brook shot 79.3% from the line (10th among NBA centers).
What he needs to improve on:
- Crashing the offensive boards. Of his 8.1 rebounds per game, only 2.7 are on the offensive side. If he gets that number up to around 3.5 or 4, it would be fantastic. Now I think this comes with experience. The more shots you see go up, the better you will be at reading the bounces off the rim. He can also spend some time this offseason watching some tape and seeing how defenders boxed him out this year, then he can work on some techniques that will help him grab more boards.
- He needs to expand his range. Let’s take a look at his shot chart.
- Brook was 333-549 from right under the basket. Which is real good, but look at the number of shot attempts he got away from the basket. He only took 303 (35% of his shots) attempts away from the basket, and only hit 106 of them (34.9%). If I can pick up on this, teams are going to be able to as well. Teams are not going to let him catch it as deep as he has been, and they will try to force him to make his catches farther away from the basket. This offseason I really want to see Brook expand his range. I am not even talking foul line extended, I am talking like 8-10 foot range (Think Yao), and if he does that, he will be pretty hard to cover.
The outlook for next year
Brook has the ability to become a 20-10 guy next year, and that is no exaggeration. I really think that this will happen. Over the year Brook has displayed a work ethic that shows me he will work hard this upcoming season to improve the flaws in his game.