Brooklyn Nets: Why Brook Lopez is strugging


After hurting his foot two weekends ago against the Bucks, Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez has seemingly not been the same. He looks slower, less explosive, and more frustrated with himself. These struggles hit a peak when he missed an easy buzzerbeating tip in that could have won the game for the Nets this past Saturday. So, why is Lopez struggling so much?

First of all, the foot injury is obviously still bugging him. Despite not being serious enough to keep him out, Lopez has looked much slower and less explosive than he did before the injury. He has not been able to gain separation on post moves, and it seems to be because his footwork has been a bit off. Lopez relies on his post skills to score a lot of his points, as well as create shots for teammates, so without his quickness and good footwork, he struggles to score.

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Nov 6, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers center Tarik Black (28) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Another reason for Lopez’s struggles seems to be the lack of fouls called on his shots. Throughout the season, Lopez has been great at drawing contact and exploiting mismatches to get to the line. However, the past three games, it seems like he is just not getting any calls. Multiple times against the Warriors, he was hacked, hit, and mugged, and he rarely got any calls. Lopez relies on being quicker and more talented than the people defending him, and he uses this to get to the line, where he shoots nearly 90 percent. Lopez’s inability to have calls go his way has been very debilitating to his game.

Lopez’s shot selection these past few games has also been very questionable. He is taking far too many runners, and he has not had the touch that he needs to get these to go in. Lopez has been very inaccurate with these shots over the past three games, and they are causing his shooting percentage to plummet. Lopez needs to be more aggressive in taking the ball to the rim and finishing strong, because that has always been his bread and butter. He will also draw more fouls this way.

Finally, Lopez has been obviously frustrated by his own play. He knows that he has been playing poorly, and because of this, he is getting in his own head. On many occasions, he has called for the ball on offense and then proceeded to take a poor shot. Because he is so frustrated, he is more determined to turn it around. He has been willing to take bad shots in order to try to heat up, but it has not worked.

Overall, if the Nets are going to succeed, they need Brook Lopez to play terrific. He is the centerpiece of the team, and with the other players starting to heat up, Lopez’s play is even more vital to the team than it was in the early part of the season. Look for Lopez to find a way to improve his play over the next few games.