Although he may not be the offensive force that his twin brother Brook Lopez is, Robin Lopez has been a pleasant surprise for the the New Orleans Hornets this season.
Lopez wasn’t much of a scoring threat during his time with the Phoenix Suns, only averaging 5.8 points while only playing 14.4 minutes per game. Lopez was more known for his defense and wild hairdo. But now a full-time starter with the Hornets, Lopez has become a double-digit scorer, contributing 11.1 points while starting all 75 games for New Orleans this year. That’s not bad for a player the Hornets were only expecting rebounding and defense from.
The increase in production for Lopez may be due to more consistent playing time. Lopez has played more minutes this year than he has the last two seasons combined, resulting in a more confident player.
The Hornets signed Lopez to a three-year, $15 million contract when they acquired him from the Suns last summer, hoping that Lopez could offer a stable post presence next to rookie Anthony Davis as he learned the ropes. Davis has played well when healthy, and Lopez’s steady play has been a key in his development.
New Orleans hasn’t won many games due to youth and inexperience, but they do have a solid core of players to build around. They may need to upgrade at more than a couple positions though the draft and possibly free agency, but with Davis, Greivis Vasquez, Lopez and Ryan Anderson the Hornets have enough talent that when combined with a couple new players they should be a .500 team soon.