Should Brook Lopez Start At Center?


Brook Lopez has flourished in a reserve role for the Brooklyn Nets and while Lopez has dominated, Mason Plumlee has begun to struggle. Plumlee took over the starting job early on in the season with his outstanding play, but the sophomore out of Duke is in a slump. In his last three games, Plumlee is averaging 6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 16 minutes per game.

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While Plumlee has put up those numbers Brook Lopez has managed to have far more success in his last three games. Lopez is averaging 18.6 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes per game. Even though Lopez is coming off of the bench, he is playing far more minutes lately, which is a cause to think that maybe the Nets should begin to start Lopez again.

The Nets have a stacked front-court on the bench with Lopez and Thaddeus Young up front. Lopez and Young have both asserted themselves as two of the Nets highest volume scorers on the entire team and having them come off of the bench creates matchup problems for the opposition, but it can hurt the Nets to start off games.

In the Nets loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, the Pelicans surged to a 15-4 lead and the Nets needed to climb back into things from start to finish. The Nets were competitive all game long, but they did not have enough energy to close out the game due to the sluggish start.

Lopez is playing starters minutes, but it seems that the Nets are missing something in the beginning of games. Plumlee was doing great with Jarrett Jack at point guard, but since Deron Williams was named the starter again, Plumlee has struggled. Lopez and Williams have been teammates for multiple seasons and the chemistry that they have formed over the years could give Lionel Hollins a reason to put them both on the floor together.

With the Nets new small lineup, that could give Lopez a chance to go one-on-one in the low-post with regularity. Whether it’s Joe Johnson or Thad Young starting at power forward both can stretch out and hit a jumper, so Lopez would be able to dominate and if a double team came, he could just pass it out to an open shooter. Regardless of if he’s starting or not, Lopez will have a major impact for the Nets, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Lopez inserted into the starting lineup again at some point.

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