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Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez
Position: C
Born: 04/01/88
Height: 7-0 / 2.13
Weight:265 lbs. / 120.2 kg.
Salary: $13,906,976
While Lopez’s defensive contribution might have gone under the radar in previous seasons, it has been impossible to ignore this season. On Monday, Lopez added another five blocks to his league-leading tally (44) on the season. He is now averaging 2.8 blocks per game, which would best his career-high average of 2.4 blocks per game from the 2019-20 season. Without even hearing what Hill said five minutes earlier, Holiday gave The Athletic nearly the exact same response when Lopez’s defensive efforts were mentioned. “Defensive Player of the Year,” Holiday said. “He should have been before that too.”
“One of the things that’s probably most difficult in life is consistency,” Budenholzer said. “And it feels like Brook Lopez is just, night after night after night, anchoring our defense. It takes great mental discipline, great mental attention to detail what he does; he has a knack for it. We’re incredibly fortunate that he’s bringing that consistency to our team. I think it kind of sets the tone for everybody else.” Thus far this season, the Bucks have posted the league’s best defensive rating,  giving up 105.3 points per 100 possessions. While Antetokounmpo and Holiday have both been the usual spectacular selves on that end, Lopez has been the center of the Bucks’ strategy in all 16 games. If Hill and his teammates can do anything about it, they’re going to try and make sure their big man gets the credit he deserves this season.
“The Nets need an upgrade at center with Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo, Robert Williams, and other centers lurking in the East,” an NBA scout told HoopsHype. Other Eastern Conference centers not mentioned include Jarrett Allen, Brook Lopez, and Clint Capela. If the Nets are going to upgrade their frontcourt, it could come at the expense of one of their shooters, Joe Harris or Seth Curry.