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NBA New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Hornets Exited With Robin Lopez’s Dramatic Improvement

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Robin Lopez can be as good as any NBA player in the paint, as far as the New Orleans Hornets are concerned.

Lopez showed his stuff on Monday when the Hornets upset the Detroit Pistons on the road in NBA action. He had 9-of-13 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the free throw line for 23 points and with 10 rebounds. He picked a good night to be on fire considering he’s averaging 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds a game.

His shooting this season continues to be impressive. He’s averaging 56 percent from the floor. Keep in mind that Lopez averaged 6.8 points in his career entering the game. The confidence in his shooting has been superior.

“The way he played in the paint was tremendous,” said Hornets coach Monty Williams. “Greg Monroe is a stud and (Jason) Maxiell is so physical. He was helping AD (Anthony Davis) out a lot. Then offensively to be able to dive and finish around the basket. He hit a few jump shots which was something I have been trying to discourage because I think he is so much better around the basket, but his ability to dive got so many guys open shots.”

Lopez was encouraged with the Hornets’ defense against the Pistons and is hoping it can be the beginning of some outstanding results.

“I think we really made it a priority to make sure that we had each other’s backs,” Lopez said. “We wanted to execute our defensive game plan, and that was part of it, having the help side over early so that we didn’t have to double stunt.”