A measure of the dispersion of a set of data points around their mean value. Variance is a mathematical expectation of the average squared deviations from the mean.
Coming into this season, it was believed by many that Brook Lopez was one the premier young players in basketball and ready to make the leap from unheralded to all-star. Certainly his numbers through his first two seasons and into this pre-season seemed to be pointing in that direction.
2008-2009 Brook: 13.0 ppg 8.1 rpg 1.8 bpg 53.1% fgs 82 games
2009-2010 Brook 18.8 ppg 8.7 rpg 1.7 bpg 49.9% fgs 82 games
Clearly from year one to year two in the league Brook showed major improvement offensively while retaining the same numbers on the glass and blocking a virtually identical amount of shots. The drop in fg% can easily be attributed to a higher volume in shots and a higher degree of difficulty on his shots due to how poor team play was.
Now if we look at this seasons numbers, the one that jumps off the board and has Nets fans losing hair is the significant drop in rebounding from 8.7 to 5.5. Did Brook Lopez go soft over night? Is it mono? Laziness? Kris Humphries?
MY answer is...maybe its none of the above. We have seen Brook Lopez over the course of two FULL SEASONS having played ALL 82 GAMES grab AT LEAST 8 rebounds per game. Seeing as he is only 22 years old, I find it hard to believe that the player we all saw the last two years is NOT an 8 rebound per game player.
I think one thing that we as fans havent really accounted for in this situation is simple variance. Players go through lulls throughout the course of a career...some longer than others. To me this seasons sample size just isnt significant enough to say definitively that Brook Lopez is a poor rebounder. The sample size of 40+ games simply is not big enough to account any type of variance. Not when we have seen this guy average a steady eight and a half boards per over the course of his first 164 games.
The situation has changed drastically this year. New coach, new arena. New players. New owner. With that comes a new system on offense and a new philosophy on defense; and there needs to be some type of grace period granted for this type of radical change.
In short, in my opinion, Brook Lopez is a guy who over the course of his career will average 8 plus rebounds per game. He didn't get worse overnight. Call it a lull, call it a funk. Call it an adjustment period. Just don't tell me you can definitively say with a certainly that "Brook is soft" or "Brook cant rebound." Not when his body of work over the course of his career has proven otherwise.