Milwaukee Bucks: 3 reasons not to panic about Brook Lopez’s quiet start

Jan 4, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 4, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jan 18, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 18, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

While he hasn’t played a central role in the Milwaukee Bucks’ growing success this season, there are reasons as to why we shouldn’t worry about Brook Lopez.

At 9-5 nearly one month into their 2020-21 season, the Milwaukee Bucks have performed up to expectations after such a busy offseason.

That may hit a different tone than one would expect, especially after the Bucks experienced a close loss to the Brooklyn Nets Monday night, their biggest foe standing in the Eastern Conference. But after such a whirlwind offseason, the Bucks have handled an uncertain season as positively as they can through this checkpoint.

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As the Bucks continue to integrate and find their way to a new identity and ideals, it has altered the roles of their holdover players, such as Brook Lopez. Through his 14 appearances, Lopez is averaging 9.7 points on .414/.351/.824 shooting, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks across 27.1 minutes per game.

Nothing about Lopez’s play has been particularly concerning, especially in comparison to some aspects of his play last season. However, the fact that he’s been more of a tertiary figure in the Bucks’ success has affected the impact he has had over his time in Milwaukee.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the few reasons why Brook Lopez’s start is nothing to worry about for the Milwaukee Bucks this 2020-21 season.

Reason no. 3 – Brook’s role is changing

The aforementioned changes that the Bucks underwent over their busy offseason has certainly affected the role that Lopez has played through four weeks into their run this season.

To that point, Lopez is posting a career-lows in usage percentage (14.4 percent) and points per game (9.7) and touches per game (29.7) over his 380 total minutes of play.

Of course, there a few reasons for that, some of which go beyond the slew of personnel changes the Bucks over the fall and winter. Lopez’s dire shooting slump last year has since been corrected and we’ve seen fewer post up touches for him, especially as the Bucks’ offensive system has fundamentally changed as The Athletic’s Eric Nehm ($$) recently detailed.

While that may be so, the Bucks are always in need of Lopez’s off-ball shooting and floor spacing to open up room for the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton to operate effectively. Think of it as Lopez recapturing the role that he performed for the Bucks in his first season and it certainly explains why he’s been more of a defined role player than he ever has been while wearing a Bucks uniform.