Brook Lopez was an absolute beast in the Milwaukee Bucks’ hard-fought 110-105 win over the New York Knicks on Friday. The veteran center proved why he was last season’s runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year title, as well as why he could make another run for the same award this year.
Lopez blocked away eight shots against the Knicks, which was just one shy of his career high. Talk about rim protection for the Bucks, right?
Milwaukee Bucks Star Khris Middleton Heaps Praise on Brook Lopez
After the game, Bucks star Khris Middleton heaped praise on Lopez as the team’s defensive “anchor” in the post:
“That’s what he does,” Khris Middleton said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “He’s one of the best in the business doing that. He protects the paint. He’s our anchor down low where he’s communicating everything to us, letting us know where we need to go, where to shift, where to stay home to shooters because he’s going to do a great job playing cat-and-mouse with that pick-and-roll or that ballhandler coming down for a contested floater, dropoffs, all of that.”
Head coach Adrian Griffin made a major defensive adjustment on defense against the Knicks. The first-year shot-caller had Lopez positioned deeper in the drop on defense, which was a move that was prompted by some advice given by the team’s veterans.
This tweak allowed Lopez to get a better perspective of everything on the defensive end. This is why, as Middleton said, Lopez was able to direct his teammates on defense as he took on his familiar role in the drop.
Given the success of this scheme, we expect Lopez to take on the same role on Monday against the Nets.
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