Expect to see Brook Lopez taking more 3-pointers this season.
Early in the summer, a Nets insider told NetsDaily that they fully expect Brook Lopez to do everything on the offensive end, emphasizing the fact that he would be taking more 3-pointers this season.
With the likes of Thaddeus Young and Joe Johnson gone, the Nets do not have many offensive weapons. Lopez has the green light to do essentially whatever he’d like.
And that means more 3-pointers.
At the pre-season press conference with Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson, coach Atkinson mentioned Lopez taking 3-pointers this season.
"Offensively – I think it’s with all of these guys – become even more efficient than you are. Taking better shots, getting to the rim more, mixing in some 3-point shots to balance your game," coach Kenny Atkinson said when discussing how Lopez can improve. "We’re going to challenge to improve in those areas and again that fit our style of play and we do believe that he can take another step."
So why does this come as a surprise, especially in today’s NBA where big stretching the floor is a norm? The answer is simple. Brook may have a funky game, but he’s an old- school big. He hasn’t hit nor even taken a lot of three-pointers in his career.
He took 14 three-pointers last year, marking the highest of his eight-year career. He hit only two of the 14; with one being a near half-court desperation heave. He was 0-of-3 from the corners. Before 2014, Lopez never took more than two 3-pointers in a season.
This was one of the two:
He isn’t far off, and the Nets believe they can improve this aspect of his game. Last season he showed he could be efficient from outside the paint. Lionel Hollins played an inside-out offensive set with Young playing on the inside doing the dirty work, while Brook focused on his mid-range game. The results weren’t dissuading.
He hit 41.5 percent of his shots from 16-24 feet, 34.5 percent from 20-24 feet (the 3-point line is just about 24 feet). The further he shoots, the further his efficiency drops. No matter. Kenny Atkinson and the Nets feel like this is something he can get better at with work.
It still comes as a surprise, especially because it’s something new for the big fella. He doesn’t need to become a three-point specialist by any means, but if he becomes even a slight threat from the perimeter, this should lure defenders out to the perimeter rather than camping inside the paint. This will open things up for the rest of the offense, namely slashers like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and penetrators like Jeremy Lin.
For Brook, it’s just another offensive weapon added to his offensive repertoire… if he can be efficient. Point being: the Nets don’t have many options. If there’s a season for Brook to work on his perimeter game, it’s now.