The 2022-2023 season may have ended bitterly for the Milwaukee Bucks, but the season as a whole still had plenty of quality basketball that the team can build on this upcoming season.
Brook Lopez had his best year in a Bucks uniform in the 2022-23 season and notched a first-team all-defensive team selection. Lopez averaged an astounding 2.5 blocks per game and shot 37.4 percent from distance. Being able to redefine his game and adjust to the modern age was something that set him up for all this success in the ladder half of his career. A new staff could impact usage and how Lopez operates within the offense, but do not expect a drastic change statistically either way.
2023-24 Salary: $24 million
NBA Experience: 15 Years
Last Season’s Stats: 15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.5 blocks, 53.1 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from deep, 78.4 percent free throw shooting, in 30.4 minutes per game.
Bucks 2023-24 Player Profile: Can Brook Lopez win DPOY?
Brook Lopez enters his sixth season with the Bucks this year, and he is still as good if not better six years later. This is a guy who is very important to Milwaukee. Lopez could have easily been the league’s Defensive Player of the Year last season, but Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Grizzlies was the winner.
A crazy stat from last regular season was Brook Lopez being the leader in 3-point makes for players 7-feet or taller. Having the ability to stretch the floor and then turning around and averaging 2.5 blocks on the other end of the ball is something you don’t see big guys do on a regular basis. At 35 years old, Lopez is still one of the top centers in the NBA, and more exceptional play from him could be a huge factor in helping the Bucks hoist the O’Brien once again.
Lopez has not been an exceptional playoff performer since joining the Bucks, but that does not mean he hasn’t come up huge for the Bucks at times. Lopez can boast a few big scoring games for Milwaukee in the playoffs. Lopez put up 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks in Game 4 of the first round vs. Miami last postseason.
There have been a few other games where he put up numbers similar to those. The point is that Lopez still continues to be a huge factor for Milwaukee in the playoffs, but he doesn’t show up every night with the same consistency. Another note with Lopez is that matchups do matter, and in certain situations, with five shooters on the court, it is hard for him to stay as effective on the defensive end. Offense will never be the reason Lopez sits for stints in the playoffs, ironically it will be defense, despite being in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation all season long.
As we know, things could be much different with a new staff. Per game averages could go up or down, or the rotation could get a little rebranding, but you don’t really know until the season is ready to start. My guess is that a team that’s been together for a while with a championship ring to their name will not change things up too much. With that being said, Budenholzer’s lack of coaching on both ends is the reason the Bucks went a new route, so Griffin should be free to operate the team as he pleases.
Lopez should still see a steady diet of 30 minutes per game barring any health issues. One thing I expect Coach Griffin to utilize a little more than the previous coaching staff is Lopez’s size down low. Being a good back-to-the-basket scorer and having pure size like that can equate to scoring in bunches. Dump downs, post-ups, and drop-offs with Lopez on the receiving end should be a solid part of our offense, and for that reason, I think we will see Lopez bump his scoring average up once again. Once again, we will see how the Bucks approach all of this, and this is all my thoughts coming into the season.
2022-2023 was quite the resurgence for Brook Lopez. Not many players have one of the best seasons of their career in their 15th season as a 35-year-old. Fortunately for the Bucks, something tells me Lopez has no intention of lowering his level of play this season. He could easily sneak onto an all-defensive team once again. Lopez playing as well as he did last season is huge for Milwaukee, hopefully Lopez can find a way to replicate his production from last season.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.