Brook Lopez’s Success Is The Most Surprising Thing About Bucks’ Playoff Start
After the bubble failure for the Milwaukee Bucks, many people wanted Brook Lopez gone or not as integrated with the team. With the lack of switching that head coach Mike Budenholzer did, it exposed Lopez and got him on to bad matchup after bad matchup. Even into the season, many people said that Lopez should take a step back when the Bucks were in crunch-time situations. Well, Lopez is defying the haters and having himself an excellent start to the playoffs with some great interior defense as well as some offensive production.
When Brook Lopez is on the floor, the Heat's eFG% is 10.3 points worse, they're shooting 8.4% fewer of their shots at the rim and shooting 9.3% worse at the rim in this series.
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) May 25, 2021
Miami does not know how to handle what Milwaukee’s done with Lopez in the middle. They’re switching more on the perimeter, so, it’s less likely that Lopez is out on Jimmy Butler or Goran Dragic. Therefore, Lopez can plant in the paint. And when he does that, it makes things very difficult for Miami. They have three-point shooters, but a part of their game is at the rim with Butler and Bam Adebayo. Heat could adjust, but it’s a wrinkle that they were not ready for this series.
Lopez also had a major impact offensively in Game 1. He scored 18 points and at certain points of the game, Lopez became the catalyst for the Bucks’ offense. They needed the production out of Lopez because they were not getting it from anyone else. He aided Milwaukee’s scoring efforts in the second and third quarters. Lopez reinventing himself offensively in the second half of the season has been a major lift for this team.