Brook Lopez played an integral role in the Milwaukee Bucks’ win over the New York Knicks on Friday. Head coach Adrian Griffin’s decision to utilize the former All-Star as the center of their drop coverage against the Knicks worked out excellently, with Lopez swatting away eight shots in Milwaukee’s victory over New York.
Be that as it may, Griffin wasn’t afraid to turn away from Lopez on Monday night against the Brooklyn Nets.
Damian Lillard Praises Milwaukee Bucks Coach
Lopez was still an integral part of Milwaukee’s defensive schemes against the Nets. However, Griffin made the tough call of subbing out the 7-foot center in crunch time in favor of a smaller lineup.
Damian Lillard knew exactly what Griffin was doing and the seven-time All-Star applauded his coach’s crucial decision down the stretch:
“That’s good coaching,” Lillard said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Obviously Brook is a very important player to our team but last game I think us putting him in the drop like he’s comfortable being in and what he’s used to, he showed why that’s valuable — he had eight blocks.
“I think tonight playing against a team that defensively, they switched a lot. A lot of times when teams switch everything is disruptive to your offense because it can make you play iso(lation) and take everybody out their sets and mess up the execution. But then on the other end all those guys can shoot except for Ben Simmons, who’s not a shooter. So when he was on the floor we was able to still have Brook out there in the drop but I think toward the end of the game Jacque, he saw that, and he was like you know, a back-and-forth game, I’m going to put Royce (O’Neale) back in and try to stretch the floor out.
“At that point, obviously it makes sense to put a guy out there that can be on the perimeter. You don’t want to put Brook in a situation where he’s out there chasing these guys who are running around and shooting threes. It was just the proper adjustment to make when they changed their lineup.”
Griffin may be a rookie in terms of being a head coach in the NBA, but this man does not have a shortage of experience under his belt. It was no easy decision to yank your starting center in a critical period in the game, especially considering how Lopez is one of the Bucks’ most important players on the defensive end.
Griffin still made the call, though, and it has resulted in some high praise from his superstar point guard. It was also a key decision towards the Bucks securing a hard-fought 129-125 win over a relentless Nets side.
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