Milwaukee Bucks big man Brook Lopez faced off against a familiar foe on Monday night. The former All-Star played the first nine years of his career with the Brooklyn Nets, and it was a homecoming of sorts for Lopez as the Bucks battled his former team at the Barclays Center.
Lopez did not exactly have his best game on Monday, and he was actually subbed out late in the fourth quarter by head coach Adrian Griffin.
Milwaukee Bucks Coach Speaks Out on Brook Lopez Decision
According to Griffin, however, his decision to take Lopez out was purely tactical. In fact, the first-year shot-caller had to make a tough decision considering how he thought Lopez was playing well against the Nets.
With a little over three minutes remaining and Milwaukee up 119-117, Griffin decided to yank Lopez in favor of Bobby Portis:
“It’s tough because Brook was so great on the offensive boards down the stretch and I was trying to keep him in the game, but I thought we needed (to) go smaller so we could start switching,” Griffin said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I put Bobby in because he played so well in that first half and in the third quarter he was phenomenal, so I wanted to give him the first crack. Then it got to where we really needed to protect the three-point line so I end up going small – smaller I should say.”
As Griffin said, the decision to bring in Portis was intended to counter Brooklyn’s outside shooting. Griffin eventually replaced Portis with Pat Connaughton with less than half a minute remaining in the final period in order to get even smaller.
For what it’s worth, Lopez, finished the game with four points on 2-of-6 shooting, seven rebounds, and two assists in 27 minutes of action. Last season’s Defensive Player of the Year runner-up will be an integral part of Milwaukee’s success this season, but there will be days when Griffin will opt to go with someone else to close out games.
Monday’s 129-125 victory over the Nets is a good example of the same.
For More Wisconsin Sports:
Follow me on Twitter at @PaoloSongcoNBA, and follow us @WiSportsHeroics. Also, check out our Merchandise Here! Get 20% off with the code “WSH.” You can also reach out to Paolo Songco via email at email@example.com. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in ALL of Wisconsin sports, click here! Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers.