Milwaukee Bucks: Regrading the important Brook Lopez signing

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 06 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 06 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl Anthony-Towns
Feb 23, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The on-court fit for the Brook Lopez signing almost four years later for the Milwaukee Bucks

Going back to the idea I had in my mind of Lopez still being the low-post scorer with the Bucks that he was with the Nets. He absolutely proved me wrong, and I should have seen it coming. In his final year with the Nets and only season with the Lakers, Lopez shot 712 3-pointers and made them at a 34.6 percent clip. In his previous eight seasons, Lopez shot a total of 31 threes and made only three of them (9.1 percent).

That would prove to be very important for his tenure with the Bucks, as we’d come to find out. Lopez turned into one of the highest-volume 3-point shooters as a big man. Forget big men, he was one of the highest volume 3-point shooters in the entire league in his first Bucks season. In 2018-19, Lopez’s 512 3-point attempts not only led the Bucks but was the 17th-highest total in the entire NBA, according to Basketball Reference. That means he took 30 more 3-point attempts than Trae Young that year!

Lopez would also shoot 36.5 percent on those 512 attempts, which has been his career-high. His game against the Denver Nuggets in Denver that season will forever be burned into my memory for how incredible his 3-point shooting was that season. He went 8-for-13 behind the 3 point line in that game, which is still the most he’s made in a game.

While Lopez’s volume and efficiency have dropped since that season, his spacing is still incredibly valuable for Antetokounmpo when he’s attacking the basket. Lopez has also still proven to have his low-post touch offensively as well, which we’ve seen come in handy a few times.

Although his shooting exploits have been fun to watch, it’s Lopez’s defense that has been his most valuable skill and his biggest improvement. I don’t think anyone would have said that Lopez was a “good” defender when he was with the Nets all those years, but now he’s considered one of the best defensive big men in basketball.

Prior to coming to the Bucks, Lopez had a career block rate of 4.2 percent, which was above average. In his three seasons with the Bucks, Lopez’s block rate has jumped to 6.4 percent. His defense reached its regular season peak in 2019-20 when he made First Team All-Defense and was 10th in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Lopez’s ability to play in a drop coverage base defense has allowed Antetokounmpo to become the best version of himself as a defender. That in itself is incredibly valuable from Lopez as Antetokounmpo has become one of the most impactful defenders in the entire NBA. Lineups with Lopez and Antetokounmpo have had net ratings of +12.2 (2018-19), +16.4 (2019-20), and +9.2 (2020-21), according to