Brook Lopez didn’t think 100, 200, or 300 three-point attempts would be a lot for him to take.
“Really? I was going to say 600,” Lopez cracked. Assuming he played all 82 games, 600 threes would be an average of over seven per game, and tie him for 12th all-time for three-point attempts in a single season. So yeah, that would be a lot.
Lopez couldn’t help making a tongue-in-cheek comment about the topic du jour: whether or not the seven-footer, one of the league’s most fearsome paint scorers, would take his mid-range jumper a step or two further beyond the three-point line.
Lopez has taken 218 two-pointers from at least 20 feet throughout his career, per Basketball-Reference’s shot logs, and only stepped beyond the arc 17 times (excluding his one miraculous playoff heave). But the Nets center said he’s worked harder on a three-point shot this offseason than ever before.
“I’ve always felt confident in shooting the ball, but it makes a big difference. I’ve been shooting out to 18 feet, heels right on three,” Lopez said, insinuating that his feet are five feet long. “Taking that extra step back, it makes a big difference for the opposing team’s defensive schemes.”
Lopez could break free relatively easy at the top of the key in pick-and-pop plays, and might sneak into the corner after offensive rebounds if he wants to take some shorter looks. It’s one of the few new developments that could make this team a bit more fun than last season, along with their added athleticism.
“I definitely could’ve been in the running, if it weren’t for Mas(on Plumlee), maybe, for the most athletic guy on last year’s team,” Lopez joked. “But seriously, we have a good balance. We’ve got a lot of young, athletic, young guys who are willing to run, willing to get out there and get dirty, play with high energy, and a lot of old vets who, you know, play at… NBA speed, is a complimentary way of saying it. My NBA speed.”
The Nets ran one-a-day practices during training camp at Duke last week, a rare occurrence in a league that normally runs two-a-day training camps. Lopez said it was his first training camp in eight seasons that ran just one-a-day practices, but that didn’t mean they were easy.
“They were long one-a-days,” Lopez said, emphasizing the word “long.” “We got a lot of work in, lots of conditioning, they were grueling. I was definitely sore. But we got in, did what we needed to, and the majority of us are injury-free. And I think we’re ready to go, and we’re better for how we did it.”
Lopez and the Nets play their first preseason game against Fenerbahce Ulker Monday night. Whether or not he takes any three-pointers is anyone’s guess, but at least Lopez is up for it. “I hope I’m green-lit.”