3 Milwaukee Bucks that must step up with Brook Lopez sidelined

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: DeMarcus Cousins, Bobby Portis, Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – DECEMBER 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks finally got some clarity regarding the back soreness of Brook Lopez, and it is not the news that many hoped to hear.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Lopez underwent successful back surgery yesterday and will be out indefinitely. Lopez has been sidelined since the first game of the 2021-22 season against the Brooklyn Nets, a game where he notched eight points, five rebounds, and three blocks. With the free agent acquisition of DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins earlier this week, the Bucks have added a little more help at the center spot. However, other players will need to step up in order to supplement Lopez’s rim-protecting abilities. With that said, here are three players who can step up during Lopez’s extended absence.

DeMarcus Cousins could see a large workload shortly after signing with the Milwaukee Bucks

Boogie Cousins, the newest member of the Bucks, will likely see an increased workload in Lopez’s absence. Cousins played his first game in Milwaukee on Wednesday night in a victory over the Charlotte Hornets. In that game, Cousins put up a solid showing as he tallied seven points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 15 minutes of action. Cousins also tied with George Hill for the highest +/- with a +9 for the game.

Cousins has certainly been a journeyman, playing for five different teams in his career. Now in Milwaukee, he has been given an excellent opportunity. The Bucks needed a second center with so much uncertainty surrounding Lopez. The answer was Boogie, but he has now been thrust into a primary role. While Bobby Portis may get the starting nod over Cousins in his first few games, we could see Cousins take a leap into the starting rotation. Cousins looked surprisingly solid in his Bucks debut, considering that it was his first game of the year for any team. If his performances continue to keep up, he could be someone who takes a big step forward in Lopez’s absence.

Boogie has been put in a position to succeed and earn himself a spot in the rotation. Cousins will arguably be the most important piece while Lopez is sidelined. While Cousins may not be able to replicate Lopez’s rim protection, he could be a serviceable defender due to his large stature. Whatever the case may be, Cousins will need to be one of the main players who step up while filling in for Lopez.