Well, well, well. Looks like Brook Lopez has developed himself a jump shot.
Brook Lopez made a career-high eight 3-pointers on Sunday night, and that tied the most in a game by a 7-footer in NBA history. He ended up scoring 28 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks over the Denver Nuggets for a 121-114 win.
“That was an interesting experience,” he said to ESPN. “Bud and our entire coaching staff have done a great job instilling that confidence and giving us that belief that when we shoot, it’s going to go in. If you’re open and that’s your shot, let it fly.”
Lopez has certainly been letting it fly.
He called the game “interesting” because the Nuggets started guarding him at midcourt in the second half like he was Stephen Curry. This means it’s now time to start talking about Lopez as a legitimate candidate for the NBA All-Star weekend 3-point contest.
He is a truly unique case. He didn’t make any 3-pointers in his first six NBA seasons, but this year he’s made 39 shots from downtown (fifth-best in the league) and is shooting 41.9 percent from range. Head coach Mike Budenholzer probably deserves some credit for these numbers, because his offense is routinely based on ball movement and spacing the floor with shooters. 74.4 percent of Lopez’s shots this season have come from 3-point range, and that is a huge jump from his percentage (41.0) last year. However, Lopez should be praised as well. His 3-point percentage has risen steadily in the last few years, and that takes a lot of work in the gym.
It would be so much fun to see a 7-footer in the 3-point contest competing with the likes of Curry, Klay Thompson, and Devin Booker. Let’s make this thing happen.
The Bucks have a lot to be happy about right now. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a definite candidate to win MVP, and Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon are both balling as well. They’ll definitely have one or two players in the All-Star Game, but here’s hoping that they are represented by Lopez in the 3-point contest as well.