Brooklyn Nets: Why is Brook Lopez not shooting threes?


Before the season started, Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins came out and said that Brook Lopez would have the green light this season to shoot three pointers. Throughout his career, Lopez has continued to extend his shooting range season by season. Lopez has shown a smooth, fluid motion on his jump shots, and he looks really clean doing it. However, this season, he still seems very hesitant to shoot from long range. So why is that?

Lopez, throughout his 8 year career, has always been known as a post specialist. He came into the league with fully developed post skills, and he was considered one of the more “pro-ready” players. He demonstrated his effectiveness in the post early in his career, and he continues to show it today. However, in today’s age, big men that have range are highly sought after, more-so than strictly post players. The league has guys like Al Jefferson, Anthony Davis, Demarcus Cousins, and many more; all of these guys came into the league without shooting ability, but they have developed it over time.

Nov 2, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) is called for an offensive foul as he drives between Milwaukee Bucks small forward Khris Middleton (22) and center Miles Plumlee (18) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Just this season alone, Lopez has shown that he is fearless when taking jump shots. Every time he pulls up from the top of the key, it is obvious how confident he is in that shot. And, more often than not, he nails them. He has been a pleasure to watch this season from mid range. However, why is he not taking threes? A lot of Lopez’s jumpers this season have been “long-twos.” Many of his shots would only require one step backwards in order to get behind the arc. After watching the Nets’ games this season, it is hard to understand why Lopez has been hesitating from beyond the arc, but feels perfectly comfortable taking a 19 foot shot from the top of the key.

One explanation could be that he somewhat struggled in the preseason when shooting from outside. His percentage was not very high, and he lost a lot of confidence in the shot. Despite having a very fluid shooting motion with not a lot of strange arm movement, Lopez seems to be hesitant to just let them rip. A lot of big men are unable to shoot because they display stiff shoulders and jerky arm and elbow movement. However, Lopez does not have either of those issues.

So, when asked the question: “why is Brook Lopez not taking threes?” the answer is most likely more mental than physical. Lopez’s poor shooting in the preseason and the team’s struggles this season seem to have made him lose confidence when taking outside shots. If the Brooklyn Nets are going to improve as a team, Lopez needs to start taking longer shots, and with his smooth shooting motion, they will eventually start to fall at a high rate. If Lopez can add yet another dimension to his game, he will become virtually impossible to guard.

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