Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez’s 5 best games in a Bucks uniform

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez
HOUSTON, TX – JANUARY 09: (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

January 9, 2019 at Houston Rockets

Much has been made about Lopez’s 3-point shooting and limitless range and how it’s transformed the Bucks’ five-out system under Budenholzer.

Yet, Lopez’s impact as the Bucks’ sturdy rim protector may be the defining feature of his Bucks stay to this point. It was on January 9 of last year in the Bucks’ 116-109 win over the Houston Rockets that started to show us the full scope of Lopez’s critical defensive work.

The Bucks’ unique defensive strategy in guarding Rockets superstar guard James Harden captivated many, but it wouldn’t have been as impactful without Lopez’s impeccable timing to shut off and alter shots at the basket from oncoming drivers as well as force then-Houston big man Clint Capela into a very inefficient performance. Capela has 18 points and 13 boards, but was just 4-of-16 from the field on the night.

Along with that, the Rockets as a team scored just 24 points in the paint, which was the second-fewest opposing paint points the Bucks allowed in a game last season.

Lopez put up just seven points on 3-of-7 shooting (1-for-4 from three), four blocks, three boards, two steals as well as two turnovers, an assist and was a +6 in nearly 33-and-a-half minutes of action.