Brook Lopez has been integral to the Milwaukee Bucks’ success so far this season. The former All-Star big man has been their defensive anchor on the court, and it goes without saying that Lopez will be a crucial piece for Milwaukee and their championship aspirations this year.
This is exactly why some fans might be questioning the fact that Lopez was unable to play his usual minutes on Friday in the Bucks’ highly disappointing loss to the Orlando Magic.
Milwaukee Bucks HC Spills on Brook Lopez Benching
During Wednesday’s two-point loss to the Indiana Pacers, Lopez logged 29 minutes of action, which is above his current 26.0-minute playing time average. However, the 35-year-old recorded season-lows in points (two) and rebounds (one) in a truly forgettable performance.
So, did that dud have anything to do with the fact that Lopez saw just 21 minutes of action against Orlando? Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin claims that it did not:
“It was just trying to find some energy in the game,” Griffin said after the Magic game, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And just looked at, see what we got with the young guys for a minute.
“They were playing so well and so hard and just rolled with them, and then by the time I was thinking about getting Brook back in, the game was kind of out of reach so I didn’t want to put him back in in that position.”
Lopez exited Friday’s loss to Orlando at the 7:05 mark of the third period. He did not return to action after that.
To be fair, the Bucks were already down by 17 points by the time Griffin pulled Lopez out of the game in the third quarter, and as the first-year shot-caller said, he just did not have a chance to bring his starting center back in the game due to the nature of the blowout.
The Bucks will be looking for more production from Lopez on Monday against the Chicago Bulls. This should be a nice bounce-back opportunity for last season’s Defensive Player of the Year runner-up as he faces off against Chicago star Nikola Vucevic down low.
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