Brooklyn Nets: MVP Brook Lopez

Feb 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts in the third quarter against Memphis Grizzlies at Barclays Center. Grizzles win 112-103. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts in the third quarter against Memphis Grizzlies at Barclays Center. Grizzles win 112-103. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports /

Due to a very strong individual performance throughout the regular season, Brook Lopez is the Most Valuable Player for the Brooklyn Nets.

Many times throughout this past basketball season, Brook Lopez shone as the lone bright spot for the Brooklyn Nets. His dominance inside the paint in addition to his still-growing jump shot was one of the main reasons the Nets were able to accrue wins, albeit not many. He led the team in many statistical categories for this season alone, and hit a much more important career milestone. Brook Lopez is now the all-time leading scorer for the Nets franchise.

Flashback to 2013, and an accomplishment like this seems unfathomable. While he no doubt was a strong offensive player, two season-ending injuries in three years cast an extremely dark shadow on Brook’s otherwise solid resume. Foot injuries are the bane of big-men around the league (ask Yao Ming), and a 25-year-old Brook Lopez had some serious foot problems.

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His inconsistent health made him not only a difficult piece to trade, but also impossible to build a team around. However Lopez was eventually able to flip the script, missing no more than 10 games in each of the past three seasons. His consistent health has also led to very consistent production for Brook, a huge asset to the Nets in their current rebuilding situation. He brought two things to nearly every game this past season; a smile, and his dangerous offensive game, which has reached new heights.

Had Brook played the exact same (aka not improved at all) as last year, he would’ve still been the best player on the team. However he did improve significantly, thus providing an even more compelling argument for Lopez to be the Net’s MVP. The game has shifted towards long-range shooting, and as has Brook, posting a ridiculous 1.8 3s per game in this past season. He hit 4 or more in 9 games, and even made a career-high seven 3s in late January vs the Miami Heat. Keep in mind that this is a seven-foot-center, not a six-foot-four shooting guard.

There were a few downsides to Brook’s improved perimeter play, however. His already-mediocre rebounding dropped even further to five per game. In addition, there were times throughout games where Brook fell in love with the 3-pointer, and settled for long-distance bombs a little too often at times.

90 percent of the time Brook Lopez is the biggest man on the floor; with his variety of post moves, floaters, and strong ability to finish near the rim, its unacceptable to live at the 3-point line. However with practice and more experience, Lopez will eventually learn how to maximize his scoring by merging his new 3-point shot with his already strong interior game.

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There is no doubt that Brook Lopez is the best player on the Brooklyn Nets. Had Jeremy Lin been able to suit up for the entire season, he definitely has the potential to be an extremely important piece for the Nets, and the team’s performance with him on the floor at full-strength definitely reflects that (nearly half the wins came at the end of the season when Lin was healthy).

However Lin alone would not have been able to do what Brook Lopez did for a majority of the season, which was literally carrying the team on his back. However on the upside, in the handful of games where Brook-Lin competed with full power, together they displayed a promising foundation for this franchise to build off of.

All-in-all, it was a pretty productive season for Brook Lopez (and the Nets), who came in with a healthy attitude geared towards improvement, knowing that with the current roster playoffs are not yet in the picture. He posted remarkable numbers of 20.5 PPG, two 3-pointers, two blocks, and tied a career-high two assists per game. His strong play definitely is deserving of the NBN MVP Award.