Brook Lopez: Evaluation Against Top Talent

I don't "hate" Brook Lopez nor do I think he is a bad player. He is a young center who has made strides on defense this year to complement his very solid offensive game. I agree with those who say he has been our MVP this year. We have a phenomenal record against sub-.500 teams but a relatively disappointing record against teams with records above .500, and I think that Brook, our MVP, and his inability to regularly perform well against solid centers is a huge part of that. Tom Lorenzo made the following post, which includes a video that highlights the huge drop off in Brook's numbers against top teams:

For the segments on Brook Lopez (see 3:38, 5:38, and 8:28)

It attributes this to his settling for many lower percentage shots outside 15 feet against top teams. I don't know if this is a confidence issue or a coaching issue. Brook (7’0, 265 lbs) outweighs and is taller than almost every center he faces. You would think that he has the physical attributes to bang down low against some of the league's best centers.

[At the bottom of the post I pulled his shooting and rebounding numbers when facing top centers (didn’t pull the total points scored but the links to the box scores are there). I understand that these numbers don’t tell the whole story with the variation of defensive assignments and minutes but I thought they were worth including in order to provide a general idea. While some of his performances are strong, there is a general trend of a significant drop off.]

Whether it be a coaching issue or a confidence issue, I believe that this should be right up there with the Nets’ top priorities of reducing Evans' minutes and playing Blatche & Lopez as well as Mirza & Lopez alongside one another.

So yes, it is quite impressive what Brook has accomplished so far, but he is also very frustrating in many of his performances against solid defensive centers in settling for more outside shots. Obviously they are called top centers for a reason, and there is an expected drop off when facing them. However, the drop off in performance and more importantly shot selection should not be so drastic. That being said, he is only 24 and has plenty of room to grow. Add in the fact that he's a home grown talent (and a true steal at number 10) and I'm happy to have him on the Nets. However, I believe many on this site don't hold him accountable for his shot selection against top teams, which is funny as he is extremely underrated and over-scrutinized by non-Nets supporters (surprise, surprise).

Expectations aside, the present is solid as long as Brook bangs down low against more top talent and the future is very bright for the first player I’ve ever heard say they wanted to be a Net for life.


Performances against Gasol, Chandler, Howard, Noah, Asik, Pekovic, Cousins, Sanders, Duncan (This is just one grouping of “top centers.” I’m sure many people would have different groupings if they were asked to name the top centers.)

11/5 Against Pekovic:

Lopez 5-14, 8 boards / Pekovic 9/12

11/18 Against Cousins

Lopez 5-14, 5 boards / Cousins 12-21

11/20 Against Howard

Lopez 11-18, 7 boards / Howard 8-11

11/26 Against Chandler

Lopez 9-20, 11 boards / Chandler 12-13

12/15 Against Noah

Lopez 8-17, 10 boards / Noah 4-12

12/19 Against Chandler

Lopez 8-18, 10 boards / Chandler 7-11

12/26 Against Sanders** (Sanders played 23 minutes)

Lopez 9-18, 10 boards (28 minutes) / Sanders 6-11 (23 minutes)

12/31 Against Duncan

Lopez 4-11, 5 boards / Duncan 7-12

1/5 Against Cousins

Lopez 7-12, 5 boards / Cousins 11-18 **** (17 more minutes than Lopez)

1/21 Against Chandler

Lopez 6-13, 11 boards / Chandler 3-4

Note: 1/23 Pekovic did not dress for Minnesota

1/25 Against Gasol

Lopez 8-15, 4 boards / Gasol 10-15

1/26 Against Asik

Lopez 6-13, 7 boards / Asik 9-12

Note: 2/1 Noah did not dress for Chicago

Note: 2/5 Howard did not dress

Note 2/10 Duncan did not dress for San Antonio

2/19 Against Sanders

Lopez 6-17, 9 boards / Sanders 7-12

2/20 Against Sanders

Lopez 3-13, 1 whole board (23 minutes)/ Sanders 5-10

2/22 Against Asik

Lopez 13-21, 6 boards / Asik 5-11

2/24 Against Gasol

Lopez 3-10, 4 boards (26 minutes) / Gasol (6-11) ** many minutes not against Lopez


Let’s go Nets.

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