The Morning Tip-Off: The Unconventionality of Brook Lopez
Every weekday morning, Brooklyn’s Finest will scour the interwebs for the best (and worst) of Nets coverage from the previous day (and night).
Before we get started this morning, the Nets played two very difficult Western Conference opponents on the road this weekend. I recapped the blowout loss in San Antonio on Friday night and my colleague, Drew Schulte, recapped the loss in Memphis. Check those out if you missed either game over the weekend. Now, on to the links:
1. On Friday, ESPN New York’s Mike Mazzeo had a great profile on the closest thing the Nets’ have to a franchise player, Brook Lopez:
His diverse off-court interests underscore his creativity and imagination, qualities that parallel the versatility and variety of shots he brings to the hardwood. The former Stanford star possesses a soft finishing touch and lethal perimeter shooting range resembling that of a 6-foot shooting guard.
The article talks about his uniqueness on the court as a post presence that relies on his shooting touch and his uniqueness off the court as a grown man who wants to build a house attached to Disney World and is currently learning Japanese.
It also talks about his upbringing, about how his mother raised her four boys on her own and provided the foundation that allowed Brook and Robin to be two of the NBA’s most unique personalities by fostering their creativity throughout their lives.
It also included a nice tidbit that included Brook Lopez talking about the various methods in which he employs to score on the NBA level:
Nowadays, Lopez can pretty much do it all — scoring from everywhere on the floor. He is currently working on adding a 3-point shot to his repertoire. He is perhaps at his most lethal finishing what’s called a “push shot” or “half hook, half floater” off pick-and-roll passes in the pocket.
Brook talks openly about how comfortable he is with his ‘floater’, which you don’t hear very much from 7′ centers or efficient post scorers. It speaks to Brook’s uniqueness as a big man in the league.
2. Mike Mazzeo, with the rare back-to-back in this space, also wrote over the weekend about how perfect of a fit Mike Conley would be to this Nets roster that so desperately needs help at the point guard position:
Conley is basically everything the Nets need — which is why they seem like a virtual lock to pursue the 28-year-old point guard when he becomes an unrestricted free agent over the summer. Brooklyn has a massive need at the position, cap space to offer a max contract and a coach in Lionel Hollins who Conley has said was “like a second father almost to me.”
It makes too much sense. But it will still be a difficult sell.
If you’re a Nets fan, this is the type of stuff that can break your heart. Sure, the Brooklyn Nets will have money to spend this off-season when Mike Conley becomes an unrestricted free agent. And sure, Lionel Hollins may be like a second father to Conley.
But convincing Conley to leave a team on which he’s had so much success, just a year after one of the best centers in the league committed to staying there for the next five seasons, seems incredibly optimistic.
Not to mention that there is no doubt Mike Conley’s services will be in high demand throughout the league, even though he plays at such a loaded position. Conley is the type of player that can fit in any system, alongside any back court mate because of his intelligence, offensive versatility, and defensive acumen.
Conley would be an incredible get for the Nets this off-season, but just don’t get too caught up in that Nets fans. It would be a real long shot.
3. Lastly, we’re going to take advantage of Tim Bontemps of The New York Post for as long as we can in this space. Late last night, Bontemps wrote about the severe disadvantage the Nets are putting themselves at in the era of 3-point shooting with very little of it on the roster:
Through their first three regular-season games, the Nets have shot like a team playing in the 1990s as opposed to 2015. While virtually the rest of the league is firing up 3-pointers at historic rates, the Nets are a dismal 8-for-38 (21.1 percent) from behind the arc.
This is a very smart read that identifies Joe Johnson, Bojan Bogdanovich, and Wayne Ellington as the Nets best hope at providing spacing and outside shooting to the team, and then points out that they are a combined 4-12 from long range through the first three contests.
Lionel Hollins points out that the lack of play-making on the roster is not aiding in providing open 3-point looks, and Bontemps finished by pointing out the impact the lack of outside shooting has on Brook Lopez’s efficiency.
All are big issues for the Nets right now. The lack of outside shooting. The reliance on long 2-point jump shots. The lack of play-making. And that’s only focusing on one side of the ball.
The Nets return home to the Barclays Center tonight to face a similarly 0-3 team in the Milwaukee Bucks, led by former Nets’ coach Jason Kidd. Tonight, someone has to get a win.
See you tomorrow!