With the NBA regular season winding down, the race for season awards and honors is heating up. Players are making their final push to convince voters why their name should be alongside an accolade. The Milwaukee Bucks have a plethora of players that are up for awards and honors.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the hunt for his third MVP, Jrue Holiday looks to make a fifth All-Defensive appearance, and perhaps Jevon Carter has a chance to join Holiday. Center Brook Lopez is a favorite for the Defensive Player of the Year award. His performances this season on both ends have been impressive and a huge factor in the success of the Bucks as they look to lock down the one seed.
Lopez is averaging 15.6 points and 6.7 rebounds to go with two threes per game and a career-high 2.5 blocks per game. Factoring in the elite defense with the ability to stretch the floor and lead the offense has given Lopez a shot at making an All-NBA Team.
Here is the case for Brook Lopez to make an All-NBA Team over other centers.
Comparing Bucks’ center Brook Lopez’s All-NBA case to other centers
Annoyingly for Lopez, the All-NBA teams have a spot for one center in each of the three teams. With the two MVP leaders being Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, the first and second-team spots are taken, leaving one final spot and a number of players to pick between.
Lopez had back surgery in December of 2021. Yet, he is arguably having the best season of his career at the age of 34. This will not play a factor in his case for an All-NBA spot, however, it is incredibly impressive following a major surgery that he is even in the conversation for the honor, alongside being the favorite for Defensive Player of the Year.
One of Lopez’s biggest pluses has been his availability, starting 69 of the Bucks’ 71 games this season. Shooting 52.1 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from three is an exceptional rate, and in these latter stages of the regular season, he has cemented himself as one of the best centers in the league.
He leads the league in blocks with 174, and only seven players in the league have hit the century mark, showing that Lopez is a lock for the All-Defensive team, which should strengthen his case to make the All-NBA honors list.
Fellow Eastern Conference center Bam Adebayo will be looking to take the final spot over Lopez. Adebayo is averaging around six points more than Lopez per game, however, he is on the court for an extra five minutes in each game. Lopez’s ability to stretch the floor suits the modern game compared to Adebayo’s traditional game – he’s shooting just 8.3 percent from beyond the arc.
The Miami Heat center does have three All-Defensive seasons but is still outshone by Lopez and his 2.5 blocks per game, registering five blocks or more on 10 occasions this season. Memorable performances can be the difference in which way a voter will sway.
Out West, the biggest competition for that final spot is Domantas Sabonis of the Sacramento Kings. They have been the surprise team in the NBA this season, occupying the third seed in the Western Conference having amassed a record of 43-29. The Lithuanian center has been integral to their play this season. On 60 percent shooting he is averaging 19 points, along with leading the league with 12.5 rebounds per game.
These stats aid Sabonis’ case, however, Lopez’s defensive stats are far greater. The former Pacers man is averaging 0.5 blocks per game compared to Lopez averaging 2.5. Sabonis has the best case to take the final spot and the success of the Kings has been a great storyline, along with his impressive play.
Finally, Anthony Davis is one of the centers up for the All-NBA Third Team. Despite showing his quality, yet again, injuries will hold back his case. Of the 73 games the Lakers have played, Davis has managed just 47 of them (at the time of writing). With just nine games left for the Lakers, Davis will not meet the minimum game criteria of 58 games played and will miss out on making the All-NBA honors.
I think Brook Lopez has a terrific case for making an All-NBA team and will definitely be in consideration. The offensive side of the ball has always been great for him, but it has been that elite defense this season that will place him alongside the other All-NBA centers. For me, he is a lock for the D.P.O.Y. and then First Team All-Defense, however, I sadly do feel he may fall short in the All-NBA honors to Sabonis. The story of where the Kings were last year to this year may sway votes, alongside Sabonis’ exceptional performances may nudge him in there ahead of Lopez.
Stay tuned to see if Brook Lopez is given his flowers for his exceptional season.