Brooklyn Nets: Building around Brook Lopez was the right choice


Once the Nets decided to build around Brook Lopez, it was up to him to prove them right. And, so far this season, he has been nothing short of spectacular. Lopez has shown unbelievable offensive skills while managed to be effective in every other area. Brook Lopez is the centerpiece for the future, and he has shown it every night.

In the game against the Hawks last night, the Nets struggled to find offensive momentum. Joe Johnson was 1-10 from the field, and Jarrett Jack was 3-10. The Nets also turned the ball over 19 times, which is a staggering amount. These are just recurring examples of the numerous problems the Nets have had all season. Late game meltdowns, implosions by important players, and silly turnovers have all been causes for the Nets’ current 0-5 record. But, throughout this entire mess, they have had one player that has held his head high and continued to make plays. Lopez is making the investment worthwhile.

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One area of his game that has drastically improved is his mid range shooting. Lopez has become nearly perfect from about 18-19 feet and in. When he shoots the ball, everyone expects it to go in, because it usually does. He has finetuned his shooting motion to simplify it a lot, and it seems to have paid off. Because he can shoot this mid ranger now, it makes him extremely hard to cover.

Nov 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) shoots the ball past Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford (15) in the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Another thing that Lopez does impressively is take contact, finish, and create and-one opportunities. Lopez is one of the best players at finishing after being hit, and because his free throw percentage is so high, he creates three point players with ease. Lopez has mastered the art of taking contact from about 8 feet away, continuing to control his body, and making the shot as high percentage as it would be without the contact. Defenders have had a tough time guarding him when he is in the post, because he seems to take contact and shrug it off as if nothing happened.

Brook Lopez has always been a very underrated passer in the post. However, since Deron Williams arrived in Brooklyn, his assists per game have plummeted. This is because Williams became the guy that the Nets would run their offense through. Lopez was thrown into more of a scoring type of role, which seemed to still work for him. However, now that Lopez’s touches are increasing, especially in the post, he has been able to showcase the passing skills that seemed to have been lost.

Against the Hawks last night, Lopez had the ball in the post, but was trapped. Using his vision, he found Bojan Bogdanovic cutting to the rim. He made a very nice pass around the defender to Bogdanovic, who laid it in. This is just one of many examples of Lopez’s passing that he has shown this season. Because he is so good at finding cutters and shooters, the Nets can safely run their offense through him, whether it be the pick and pop, where he shoots the mid ranger, or throwing it to him in the post, where he can use an assortment of post moves, finish strong, or find a cutter.

Lopez was given a huge contract in the offseason because the team truly believed he could be “the man.” And so far this season, he has proven that he is a franchise player and a true star. If the Nets can put a good team around him, they will become contenders in a hurry.