Brook Lopez underappreciated while being Brooklyn’s MVP
It is impossible to put up an argument to defend his rebounding averages as a seven foot center. Brook is 18th of out 37 centers with 7.4 rebounds per game. It is also impossible to deny his improvements as an all around player. Brook will always be an under the radar player because of his unattractive, slow style of play. The league and the fans have grasped their attention to incredibly athletic players and clearly Brook is nowhere near an athlete like most centers today. He doesn’t run the floor like Joakim Noah, nor is he a pick-n-roll alley oop highlight show like Dwight or Chandler, or a jump and block shots guy like Ibaka. Brook quietly beats opponents with his smarts, fundamentals, and underrated strength.
The guy is now a legitimate rim protector. His 2.2 blocks per game ranks seventh in the league, and that an incredible improvement from the 2011 season. In 81 games played in 2011, he swatted 121 shots while averaging 1.4 blocks a game. Already through 46 games played this season, he has blocked 98 shots. Besides the stats he is truly an improved pick-n-roll defender. Lopez is becoming smarter of how to alter shots without getting into foul trouble. He’s at 2.1 personals a game, which is a career low. He looks rejuvenated; he rotates on other assignments and closes out on shooters.
Watch these highlights of him harassing the Miami Heat defensively.
The most complete part of his game is his cluster of post moves. Lopez can face up and drive, then use his length to make shots over defenders. His moves are effective and efficient in the paint. This season he’s been finishing well, dropping in 211 shots at the rim on 65% shooting. His length and size when moving towards the basket with the ball is hard for defenders to neutralize. He has a close to automatic mid range jumper. Lopez makes most of his mid-range jumpers from face up shots and pick and pop shots from Deron Williams. Lopez is second in the league on shots from 10 to 15 feet out behind Nikola Vucevic. All these efficiency numbers don’t add up to his PER (Player Efficiency Rating). Lopez’s 24.8 PER is only behind the best player in the universe LeBron James, following Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Tim Duncan.
Watch these highlights of Brook Lopez scoring from being the pick man.
Brook Lopez’s emergence to being an elite center is an incredible thing considering him being injured for a long period of time and being a questionable return back to Nets with the Dwight Howard rumors. All this adversity he’s overcome has led him to become the leading scoring center in the league and having the second most field goals made for centers this season. The Nets are putting the load on Brook’s shoulders, he has a career high in usage percentage of 26.1% which is the highest on the Nets. Brook is succeeding in his role and is being undervalued by the media. He’s legit.