In a stunning turn of events it appeared as if Brook Lopez’s career might be nearing the end less than year ago coming off back surgery, and now he is the betting favorite for Defensive Player of The Year at 34.7 years old. He is leading the league in block shots and the Bucks are 2nd in the league in defense with him playing 31.1 minutes a game. The highest block rate of his career. Having Giannis Antetokounmpo beside of him I’m sure helps, but he is blocking the shots. He also has the highest defensive real plus minus on the Bucks.
What is remarkable is this is a player that for many years wasn’t considered even a good defender. For many years he was one of the worst rebounding post players in the league, almost embarrassing levels for a 7-1, 285lb player. Rebounds have importance in how you end defensive possessions, and if you give up offensive rebounds the other team gets point blank shots usually on a center out of position.
When he was able to return last year in March after the back surgery he didn’t cover himself in glory, but he has been a player that has been able to remake his game multiple times now over his career. To think he came into the league as a back to the basket post up player that didn’t even shoot three’s until he was 28 years old. Then he immediately went from 0 to 100 so to speak shooting high volume for a post player and a respectable three point shot almost immediately which is almost unheard of to go from nothing to pretty good. This year he’s shooting 41.7% from three with 2.4 three’s a game. To averaged nearly 3.0 and 3.0 in three’s and blocks is awesome.