This past off-season we saw “Sideshow Bob,” aka Robin Lopez depart from the Phoenix Suns, where he mostly came off the bench, and head to the New Orleans Hornets, who had a lot more playing time available for the seven footer. The Hornets have a long way to go as an organization, but Lopez is producing with increased playing time, which provides an exciting footnote for the future of the franchise.
Lopez has started all 58 of New Orleans’ games this season and he is getting 25-26 minutes per contest. The increased playing time has provided an opportunity and Lopez is producing career-highs for points (11.5), rebounds (5.4), blocks (1.6), free throw percentage (.762) and field goal percentage (.559). He is also grabbing a career-high 2.4 offensive boards per game. Lopez had six career double-doubles coming into this season, but he is at three and counting for this campaign.
I like the fact that Lopez has taken the ball and run with it (no pun intended) in regards to his increased exposure. He has become a better and more effective scorer than ever before, and currently is closer to the skill level of his twin brother Brook Lopez than he had been. Brook is already established as a legit NBA center with career averages of 17+ points and 7+ rebounds while Robin checks in at half of that in career production. I can’t imagine there will be a time where Robin is Brook’s equal just because I think so highly of Brook. The good news for New Orleans is it definitely looks like their Lopez is taking steps forward.