Brook Lopez Has Developed Into a Premier Big Man
At the end of the day, Brook Lopez will play in the 2013 NBA All-Star game, but it is really odd to me that he was not an original choice–he will replace Rajon Rondo. Much has been made of his excellent offensive numbers (19 points per game is no.14 in the NBA, and he averages seven rebounds per game) but he has also become a fantastic presence in the paint on defense. When you add up his game, it has led to a 27-15 record for the Brooklyn Nets when the seven-footer plays.
There have been several games where Lopez was the Nets’ top scorer and several where he was the game’s top scorer. He has also been the game’s top rebounder a few times and what I like most about Lopez is his game is pretty much the same every night. The Nets rely on guys like Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, but those guys are way different in wins than in losses (especially Johnson) while Lopez is very consistent and dependable regardless of game situations.
He does get a few more points per game at home than on the road, but that is because he gets some home-cooking calls that allow him to shoot a few more free throws at home than on the road. He also shoots a higher percentage from the line at home, but when battling in the paint, he is consistent in any arena in any scenario.
With all due respect to Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh and Tyson Chandler–in 2013, I would take Lopez over any of those big guys. Yes, those three are fantastic veterans who are also champions, but I do not view the All-Star game as a place to give lifetime achievement honors as I prefer to honor the hot players during that specific season. 2013 seems to have Lopez a tad underrated, but he is legitimately a premier big man in the National Basketball Association.