3 reasons why the Milwaukee Bucks should start Brook Lopez

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 25 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 25 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Atlanta Hawks: Bogdan Bogdanovic
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Reasons the Milwaukee Bucks should start Brook Lopez: #3 – Defense

The Milwaukee Bucks have tried several times to find players to replace the Brook Lopez role in the defense, signing Demarcus Cousins, offering a 10-day contract to Greg Monroe, and the trade to acquire Serge Ibaka, but the starting center role has been occupied by Bobby Portis. He brings great energy, scoring, and rebounding, but what is lost between Portis and Lopez is rim protection.

The Milwaukee Bucks defensive philosophy has for years centered around funneling players into the paint to Lopez, who is great at blocking and affecting shots. There were definitely some growing pains this year without their defensive anchor to help clean up defensive miscues at the rim. Hopefully, the Bucks will be stronger for having gone through those adjustments.

However, the Bucks rank just 13th in defensive rating this season and are outside of the top 10 for the first time under Budenholzer. What’s been missing this season? Lopez.

Defensive rating isn’t the only area the Milwaukee Bucks could use some help, heading into tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz the Bucks are fresh off a loss to the Golden State Warriors in which they allowed 12 offensive rebounds and 20 second-chance points. Lopez isn’t a glass eater but is known for his ability to box out opponents, keeping them off the offensive glass. The Milwaukee Bucks currently rank 16th in second-chance points allowed.

Whatever the role Lopez will play upon his return, he is certainly going to be an x-factor for the Milwaukee Bucks remaining regular season games.

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The return of the veteran big man should provide a big lift to the Bucks’ championship aspirations.