Predicting Brook Lopez’s 2023-24 stat line for the Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 26 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 26 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Brook Lopez seems to be getting better as he ages, with his play during his time with the Milwaukee Bucks steadily increasing over the last few years.

The 35-year-old center has established himself as a threat both offensively and defensively, specifically for his ability to shoot the three ball on offense and to defend the paint on defense.

He’s not quite the player he once was when he was with the Brooklyn Nets, where he averaged 20-plus points per game in three of the final four years he played with the team. However, he’s shown a gradual improvement and almost transformation of his game now being in a different role with the Milwaukee Bucks than he was with the Nets.

After averaging 15.9 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game, and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting 37.4 percent from three and 53.1 percent from the floor, Lopez might be on the verge of having an even bigger year this upcoming season and continuing to find the fountain of youth in his NBA career.

Predicting Brook Lopez’s 2023-24 stat line for the Milwaukee Bucks

Brook Lopez enters his sixth season with the Milwaukee Bucks after he signed with them in July of 2018 after playing just one season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Lopez was coming off a year where he was in a minimal role with the Lakers, averaging just 13 points, four rebounds, and just a little over one block a game.

When he first arrived in Milwaukee, he was seen as a defensive presence but also a boost from the perimeter shooting wise, since the Milwaukee Bucks were coming off a year where they finished 21st in the league in team 3-point percentage. In his first year with the Bucks, Lopez’s 3-point numbers increased from a 34.5 percent clip in 2017-2018 to 36.5 percent in 2018-2019, which was evident in Milwaukee’s increase in team 3-point percentage.

Despite the 3-point percentage increase he saw in his first year with the Milwaukee Bucks, he saw a slight dip in his points per game from 13 the previous year to 12.5 in ’18-’19. During his time in Milwaukee, his points per game have hovered around 12 points a contest, with his rebounding numbers staying close to five a contest. But, when you look at the increase he saw from 2021-2022 to 2022-2023, there is a sense that he might be on the cusp of finding his second wind in his career and revitalizing it in the Cream City.

In ’21-’22, he averaged 12.4 points per game with just 4.1 rebounds per game on 35.8 percent shooting from three and 1.2 blocks per game. Not necessarily eye-popping numbers, yet it was enough to help the Milwaukee Bucks finish in the top five in 3-point percentage and top ten in defensive rating.

When he returned for his fifth year in Milwaukee in ’22-’23, Bucks fans saw a stark difference in his play and overall production which was evident in his stats. Lopez’s points per game total hit 15.9 on the year, and he added 6.7 rebounds a game with 2.5 blocks a contest and shot 53.1 percent from the floor and 37.4 percent from three. The noticeable improvement was a by-product of the hard work he put in from the offseason.

Offensively, his 3-point shooting saw a great jump, but defensively he made even greater strides. With the increase from 1.2 blocks per game to 2.5 in just a season, Lopez began to get attention for the Defensive Player of the Year, and as a team, the Milwaukee Bucks felt that improvement as well. The Bucks finished with the fourth-best defensive rating in the NBA last season, which was a jump from their eighth-place finish the previous season. Individually, his defensive play garnered him league-wide attention after he finished in second place for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.

As his defensive game has elevated the Milwaukee Bucks’ overall defensive play, he’s continued to show signs of being able to improve despite approaching his uppers-30s.

Since both his offense and defense improved so much in just one offseason, I can only imagine the improvement in stats we will see from him this upcoming year. This is what I predict Brook Lopez will average for this season:

2023-2024 Brook Lopez stat prediction: 17.8 points per game, 9.9 rebounds per game, 2.2 blocks per game, 54.5 percent from the floor, 38.6 percent from three.

Increasing a blocks per game total from 2.5 is very challenging, and with Lopez not getting younger I don’t think we will see a major jump in that statistic. However, I think with continued work with a shooting coach and continuing to focus on getting in shape for this season, I feel his offensive game can keep improving.

Will he put up the numbers he did while with the Brooklyn Nets? Not quite, but close. Seeing his development reflected in the Milwaukee Bucks’ overall improvement during his time with them shows that with another statistical increase, the team could see more collective improvement and further team success during the season.

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