Brook Lopez: The best "Big Man" in the NBA?
“With the 10th pick in the 2008 NBA draft, the New Jersey Nets select Brook Lopez from the college of Stanford.”
Standing 7 feet tall and checking in at 120kg, Brook Lopez, at only the age of 25, has the rest of the league at his mercy. It’s not often you see a guy who is 213cm tall and possesses the touch and finesse of a guard.
The majority of the basketball population, when asked “who is the best big man in basketball?”, quickly react and say, of course, Dwight Howard. But that mainstream opinion is completely wrong in my eyes and here are a few reasons.
We all know the defensive gifts Dwight Howard has been given – the post defence, the rejections out of bounce and the intimidation factor for all those who dare to drive the lane. In all honesty, Brook is a small step behind Dwight on this end of the court, because he doesn’t have the hop and athleticism of Howard.
But in saying that, Brook Lopez averaged 2.1 blocks this season and had the same effect as Dwight in terms of shot blocking. When guards like Parker, Wade and Kobe drive to the hole, all they see when facing the newly recognised Brooklyn Nets is a beast. Intimidation is a huge part of the Brooklyn defence, and the reason they were placed fourth in the Eastern conference this season.
Brook Lopez is on a level miles ahead of any other centre or power forwards in the game today in relation to his offensive ability. Brook has been gifted with a unique finesse for a 7-footer and great footwork. Guarding him in the post without a double team or weak side help is virtually impossible.
With the height to dominate around the rim and the skills to hit a mid-range shot, Brook has cemented himself with 19.4 ppg in the 2012-2013 season. This is the most by any other NBA centre, which extends to my point – Brook Lopez is the best big man in the league.
Brook shot 52 % from the field in 2013 and remarkably hit 75 % of his free throws (which by the way is 31 % better than Dwight). Brook helps his partner in crime Deron Williams with high screens and pick and rolls that are a hassle for the opposing team. The biggest part of Brook Lopez’s offence game is his ambidextrous ability to shoot and score. Try guarding this first time all-star in 2013.
With a positive attitude that reflects on his temper and the way he sees the game, Brook Lopez is consistently their to-ball, playing 74 games this season, showing he is extremely durable.
Brook works hard and wants it more than any other big man in the league. With a post game the best we have seen since Shaq, this young man is without a doubt the best big man in NBA. Offensively and defensively, he is on a level on his own.
Watch out for this guy, he is going to be good. Real good.