Bucks’ Lopez doing more than just ‘splashing’ from 3
Welcome to the 2019-20 edition of the Bucks Weekly Spotlight. Each Thursday we’ll track the progress of the players who are trying to help Milwaukee make a championship run, give updates on other players from the previous week and sometimes take a look at who is lighting it up for the Wisconsin Herd.
This is the 3rd edition of the 2019-20 Bucks Weekly Spotlight
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Center Brook Lopez
Lopez garnered a lot of notice for his 3-point shooting last season. For good reason.
Lopez made 187 3s last season, eclipsing his career high by more than 50 and setting a record for a 7-footer. He’s still putting up 3-pointers this year, making at least one in 13 of Milwaukee’s first 14 games, including all four of the Bucks’ games last week, entering Thursday night.
The ability for the big man to hit from outside (often way outside) earned Lopez the nickname “Splash Mountain.”
But don’t forget the latter half of that nickname. Lopez is stepping up in blocked shots and also to a lesser degree rebounding.
In Milwaukee’s four games last week, Lopez had 12 blocks, including two games with five (at Indiana and at Chicago).
That gives him four games already with 5+ blocks this season in just 14 games. Last season, Lopez had a career-high seven games with 5+ blocks … in 81 games.
Lopez was fourth in the NBA in blocks per game last season with 2.2. He’s third this season at 2.4, and also is third in block percentage at 7.8% (last season: 6.5%, fourth in NBA) and second in blocks (34).
Playing slightly fewer minutes than last year (28.7 to 26.9), Lopez’s blocks per 36 is 3.3. He’s topped 2.5 just once in his career – 2.8 in 2018-19.
Lopez isn’t the rebounder he was during his younger days, in part because he spends a lot more time on the outside, but his 5.1 rebounds per game average and 9.3 total rebounding % are his best rates since 2016-17.
He’s also had two double-digit rebounding games, including 10 against the Bulls this past Monday. Earlier this season, on Nov. 6 at the L.A. Clippers, Lopez pulled down 12 boards, his highest total in a game since the 2015-16.
This week in Giannis: 32.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks while shooting 60.0% from the field over Milwaukee’s four games. Antetokounmpo has a double-double in every game and has a streak of 10 straight games with 25+ points and 10+ rebounds. Since Giannis entered the league in 2013-14, only Kevin Love from Jan. 29-Feb. 25, 2014 has had a longer streak – 11. This century, only one other player has a longer streak than Love – Shaquille O’Neal, who did it in 13 games over two seasons from March 26-Oct. 30, 2001. With stats available back to 1983-84, only Karl Malone, who did it in 15 games over two seasons in 1988 and in 10 games in 1992, have reached a double-figure streak in 25+-point, 10+-rebound games.
— Eric Bledsoe’s streak of double-digit scoring games ended at eight, but he rebounded with a 28-point effort Wednesday at Atlanta. He also had a season-high 31 points on Nov. 14 vs. Chicago.
— After scoring six points combined in four games from Nov. 6-14 , Donte DiVincenzo has put up games of 14, 15 and 11 points. He connected on 55.6% of his shots in those three contests including 43.8$ from 3.
— Sterling Brown might have only average 6.5 points over 22.7 minutes per game last week, but his box score +/- of 57 (14.3 average) was highest on the Bucks over that span.
— Cameron Reynolds, who is on a two-way contract, averaged 21.3 points as the Wisconsin Herd won all three of their games last week. The Herd are 5-1 on the year; in 2018-19 they won just 12 games all season.