The Bucks blew out the Clippers last Thursday night, 119-91, and everything was peaches and cream in Milwaukee. Well, everything except for Brook Lopez. He finished the game with 6 points on 2-12 shooting, 0-5 from three, 3 rebounds and 0 assists in 25 minutes. This game capped off what has been a less than ideal 21 game start for Lopez. Coming off an offseason where he just got a huge, 4 year, $52 million dollar contract, Brook Lopez has come up short of expectations so far this season.
This year, Brook Lopez is currently averaging 10.2 points per game on 39.3% shooting from the field and 27.9% from three. He has also added 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game. His defense has been tremendous, he currently has a defensive rating of 98 which is among the league’s best. His 2.5 blocks per game is also among the league’s best. However, the Bucks didn’t sign Lopez to a four year contract for him to be a defensive specialist. They signed him to be a guy who can efficiently stretch the floor and knock down shots which is something he isn’t doing this season.
I want to focus on Lopez’s three point shooting because that is what makes him a special player. In 21 games, he has only made more than two three pointers in a game four times. He has never made more than three in a game. If the season ended today, Lopez would end up with a 13.7 PER which would by far be the lowest mark of his career. His offensive box plus/minus would also be the lowest of his career. The advanced stats prove that Lopez has been straight up bad on offense this season.
When Lopez signed his contract in the offseason, this is the exact thing that I was afraid of. Brook’s breakout season was last year and I don’t think he will be able to repeat the efficiency moving forward. In two years, the Bucks will look at Lopez’s contract and regret that they still have two more years. Don’t get me wrong, Brook can still provide value on the defense end but until he starts excelling on the offensive side of the ball, he won’t live up to his contract.