Brook Lopez The X-Factor In Brooklyn's Playoff Run?

Updated: April 9, 2013
Brook Lopez has had a breakout season as all Brooklyn Nets fans know and more and more it seems that if he plays well the Nets play well.
In 32 of his 68 appearances this season, Lopez has scored more than 20 points and is the only player in the NBA this year to average 19 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game.  The only other player to do so in the last few years is Dwight Howard.
This brings me to this post I found that is quite intriguing as it compared Lopez and Howard and it opened my eyes so I decided to share it with you.

Reece Hooker of

Meet Player A and Player B. They both play Center in the NBA. Player A outscores Player B by more than 2 points per game, despite playing 5 less minutes on average. They both block around 2 shots per game (Player B’s numbers indicate he gets .4 more per contest) but Player B hauls down 5 more rebounds per game. That being said, Player A’s PER rating is a whole 5 points better – perhaps due to his 76% free throw shooting, comparing to Player B’s 49%. Who’s the better player? Setting aside the rebound disparity, Player A is the superior player in almost every respect. Player A, Brook Lopez, may just be a better basketballer than Player B, Dwight Howard; but is often regarded as worlds behind the Lakers star when the discussion of league’s best Centers emerges.Lopez dunk on Glen Davis of Magic

The Nets are set to clash with either the Hawks or Bulls in their round of the playoffs, holding the higher seed and home court advantage. In both match-ups, the Nets have the clear backcourt advantage with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson being trump cards against either the pairings of Jeff Teague/Devin Harris and Nate Robinson/Rip Hamilton. Additionally, they are set to lose either match-up at power forward with Josh Smith and Carlos Boozer both being better than anything the Nets could throw at them. With the small forward encounter being a wildcard (Kyle Korver and Luol Deng pose two very different issues), the onus is likely going to fall on Brook Lopez to account for his elite opposition.

Both Al Horford and Joakim Noah are world-class NBA Centers. Lopez coped well with both teams during the regular season, putting in 20 points a contest against each. However, his rebounding against the Bulls needs to be more consistent than the 5.7 he’s hauled down in 3 contests thus far. Whether or not Brook Lopez is the best Center in the NBA is not really relevant at this point in the season. The All-Star game has been played and the All-NBA selectors probably already have an idea of who’s coming in first, second and third when the teams are released in the coming weeks.

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