Milwaukee Bucks: 3 players that need to step up through 11 games

Jan 9, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez
MIAMI, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks that need to step up: Brook Lopez

Much like Pat Connaughton, Brook Lopez joined the Bucks two summers ago and has played a crucial part in their success. Lopez has been Milwaukee’s man in the middle on the defensive end, helping bolster their status as the league’s best defensive team for the past two regular seasons.

This year, Milwaukee’s defense has failed to replicate their typically dominant stature, currently sitting with the ninth-ranked defensive rating. Specifically, the team ranks sixth in opponent points in the paint per game, which is still good, but not their typical quota for a team that ranked first by a large margin in two consecutive seasons.

While that does not all fall onto Lopez’s shoulders, he is the anchor of this defense and someone they will be dependent on this season.

Offensively, the big man has gotten off to a rough start through 11 games. Lopez is averaging just 9.2 points while shooting just 42.4 percent from the field. The Bucks are not reliant on Lopez by any means, but his scoring could surely boost the team’s league-leading offense, particularly if he can find some consistency from behind the arc.

Lopez has become a deep threat offensively since joining the Bucks, but his shooting has always been hit or miss given the night. The seven-foot center is currently shooting 35.2 percent on 4.9 attempts per game this season, which is an improvement from last season already, but the consistency has been an issue.

Lopez can make a monumental impact on both ends of the floor for the Bucks, and he is a key factor moving forward.