Thursday, October 10, 2013

Brook Lopez's Offense Bring Praise and Lofty Expectations

Brooklyn Nets' homegrown center Brook Lopez has made it clear that his offense is above average. With a plethora of offensive weapons, from a mid-range jump shot to free throws basic post moves, Lopez has become increasingly hard to defend. His per 36 scoring numbers have steadily increased along with his shooting efficiency these past few years. After bulking up immensely in the last two post-seasons, Lopez could become and even bigger force than last year.

In the first preseason game, he played a mere 12 minutes but went 6-7 from field for 15 points. Even in that short span, he impressed several people, including Kevin Garnett.
“Just in awe a little bit,” Garnett said of Lopez. “The skill level is impressive. I haven’t been around a skill level like that playing with [a big man] I don’t think ever.”
Don't forget that Garnett has been in the league for 18 years and has played in 14 All-Star games. Coming from a player like Garnett, that is high praise.

Newcomer Paul Pierce also had words of praise for the budding center.
“That is what we are going to try to do night in and night out, establish our inside game,” Paul Pierce said. “We feel like we have an advantage there. He is one of the best young centers in the league, and we are going to establish him. He is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN NY 

Even with players like Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and the two Celtics on the team, the teams biggest advantage could be the center position, as Pierce stated. There are few centers that play at Lopez's caliber or better. The discrepancy in talent with Brook Lopez and other centers he will be facing is much bigger than point guards opposing Deron, or small forwards that Pierce will match up with.

With that being said, a skill-set like Lopez's has brought in lofty expectations from GM Billy King.
“If Brook gets it in the post, Brook’s still got to look to score,” GM Billy King said last week. “We need Brook to average 20 [points]. We don’t need Brook to average 15 and 10 assists. We need Brook to average 20.”
In his five seasons in the NBA, Lopez has only averaged 20 points or more once. Playing with Garnett will definitely help him improve any more, but with the offensive army that the Nets have in their starting unit, the points can come from any position in any game. Lopez will probably get better looks, and if he converts those attempts efficiently, there should be little reason that Lopez cannot drop 20 points on any given night.

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