Brook Lopez: A+
Even at 35 years of age, I would’ve claimed this to be Lopez’s best season yet. However, it’s important to remember that he used to be a “star” for the Brooklyn Nets.
So let’s settle on this being Lopez’s best season as a role player. In hindsight, this makes perfect sense, considering how he played through the postseason.
Lopez joined teammate Jrue Holiday on the All-Defensive First Team this regular season, and frankly, with 2.5 blocks a night, I thought Lopez had a case for being Defensive Player of the Year. So close.
Lopez did everything. He boosted his scoring totals to 15.4 points a night, upped his rebounding to 6.7 a night, and nearly tripled his average assist totals from last year.
But above all, Lopez shot the ball very well. Very, very well. Lopez shot over 53 percent from the field and over 37 percent from three, both of which on higher volume.
I think it’s fair to say that Brook Lopez took a gargantuan leap in the right direction this season. Even through the playoffs, Lopez bumped his scoring up 3.1 points and shot the ball with grand efficiency.
Lopez simply cannot be put at fault for the Bucks’ disappointing end to the season.
Grayson Allen: B
While it may be hard to believe, Grayson Allen shows long-term promise as a starter for the Bucks.
At just 27 years old, Allen finished only his fifth year in the NBA. However, it’s hard to knock on his 3-point shooting.
Allen finished the year averaging 10.4 points on an impressive 39.9 percent 3-point shooting. The Duke product has shot over 39 percent from three over the last four seasons and looked every bit capable of being a knockdown shooter.
On higher minutes in the five-game playoff stretch, Allen bumped his three-point shooting up nearly 9%. He’s another guy that you can’t hold blame to in this series.
Allen filled in Middleton’s minutes nicely this regular season, becoming a skilled all-around player that is capable of becoming a strong passer and an undersized rebounder.
Allen earns a B for a strong offensive season that extended through the playoff stint. However, he would’ve earned a higher grade if he showed more flashes on the defensive end.