All season long, there has been a groundswell of disappointment in Brook Lopez’s performance, where he’s seemingly regressed both offensively and as a rebounder. Yesterday, during practice, while preaching patience with his team, Nets GM Billy King said that Lopez is still a desired commodity around the league and that perhaps he’s just not going to be a great rebounding center:
“I don’t think Brook is ever going to be a 10-rebound guy. Rik Smits, I think, at his best was a seven- rebound guy. Kareem Adbul Jabaar, as great a scorer as he was, he wasn’t a great rebounder. Some guys have a knack for it. Some guys don’t,” King said. “I think he could get better at it, I just don’t think it’s something where he’s going to be a 10-, 12-rebound guy a night. I just don’t think it’s in him.”
Well, I certainly would never lump Smits into the conversation as a “cornerstone” player, but I see King’s point. What’s most unnerving for me is that Lopez’s rebound rate – the percentage of available rebounds he gets to when he’s on the floor – has decreased every year he’s been in the league. It seems to me as Lopez’s attention turns more to offense, he neglects other parts of his game. There’s no reason that he can’t be a total package Center. Good for King for defending his players, but I still think Lopez is fair game for some criticism, especially about his rebounding.