Milwaukee Bucks: Prepare for Robin Lopez to let it fly from deep

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 06: (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 06: (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Having yet to step out from three on a regular basis throughout his 11-year career, new Milwaukee Bucks center Robin Lopez is likely set to showcase his shooting range next season.

Throughout their remarkable 2018-19 campaign, the Milwaukee Bucks spent plenty of time testing the capabilities of stretching the floor in ways that hadn’t been seen previously in franchise history.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer provided the blueprint of a free flowing, five-out system designed to open up the necessary space for Giannis Antetokounmpo to wreak havoc, and earn MVP honors, following the coach’s arrival to Milwaukee more than a year ago.

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But it was the instrumental work of veteran big man Brook Lopez that made such a thing possible as he built upon his reinvention into becoming a seven-foot shooting specialist from a couple of years ago, and in turn supercharged Milwaukee’s already high-powered offense.

Now with his twin brother, Robin Lopez, having signed a two-year, $9.7 million deal with the Bucks this offseason, it appears the Bucks may be looking to mold another Splash Mountain of sorts.

Unlike Brook, Robin has yet to re-fashion his game to the degree that his twin brother has at 31-years-old and 11 years in the league. In fact, 45 of Robin’s 51 career three-point attempts have come in the last two seasons as a member of the Chicago Bulls and he converted such chances at a 25 percent clip (Lopez has gone 11-of-51 from three for his entire career).

That isn’t to say that Lopez hasn’t opened up his game beyond the paint and given that he’s a 75.7 percent career free throw shooter, it’s conceivable that he may hold the shooting foundation to a workable jumper beyond the arc.

In a recent Q&A with Eric Nehm of The Athletic, Bucks general manager Jon Horst said as much, and presented plenty of optimism of his own, in indicating both the coaching staff and Lopez believe he will be showcasing his touch from long range next year:

"“The staff thinks Robin can shoot. Robin thinks he can shoot. So, we’re going to find out. … He’s already really good around the rim offensively, great touch, great feet, but I think he’s also going to kind of stretch it out and shoot the ball a little bit this year. So, it should be fun.”"

Perhaps Brook walking in and firing away from three overshadowed the fact that the Bucks didn’t have traditional floor spacers backing him up throughout the season last year between the likes of Thon Maker, Christian Wood and briefly, Pau Gasol.

Even someone like John Henson, who previously shot 1-of-13 from three for his career before last season, fell in line with the three-point revolution and showcased a 35.5 percent clip on his 31 three-point tries before suffering injury and later departing the Bucks for the Cleveland Cavaliers via the George Hill trade in early December of last year.

Of course, Lopez can give the Bucks an added dimension they didn’t previously have throughout last season with his savvy screen setting in the pick-and-roll, etc. But at long last, Lopez will likely join the growing party of seven-footers who have increasingly stepped out to space the floor and launch three after three on a steadier volume.

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For the sake of Lopez’s highly entertaining three-point celebration, this is good news for all Bucks fans.