Calling a player from the New Jersey Nets an All-Star is like calling The Real World/Road Road Rules Challenge a Golden Globe award-winning show. But even though the Nets are the league’s doormat, Brooke Lopez has been having a solid season and is making a good case on why he deserves All-Star consideration.
Why He’s In: There’s no doubt that Lopez is throwing out All-Star numbers right now. He’s averaging 19.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.2 bpg, while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor. That is more than 8 points, 2 rebounds and block shot more than Shaq and are comparable with Dwight Howard’s stats (18.4 ppg, 12 rpg, 2 bpg). His post moves and basketball IQ are advanced for his age, he plays defense and he’s a lot more athletic than people think. Lopez has shown a lot of improvement from his rookie year and is only going to get better. He’s also shown the desire to want the ball down the stretch. And unlike O’Neal or Howard, you can go to Lopez late in games because he hits his free-throws (83.3 percent). He knows his role and doesn’t try to do things he is incapable of doing. He sticks to the low block and rarely shoots outside of 13 feet.
If Shaq is voted in as a starter, than there is no way Lopez will get in since the coaches will vote in Howard and most likely not carry a third center. If Howard is voted in, than Lopez has a shot because he has been more dominant and is throwing up better numbers than both Shaq and the Hawks’ Al Horford.
Why He’s Not: Very rarely, do good players on bad teams make All-Star rosters. It makes it even harder when you’re a good player on a very bad team like the Nets, who are sitting dead last in the NBA at 2-20. It doesn’t help the Nets broke the all-time record for worst start in NBA history (0-18). Shaq’s and Horford’s numbers might not be as eye-opening as Lopez’s, but they are on winning teams that can contend for a chip in ’09-10. Neither O’Neal or Horford are their team’s number one option and if they were in Jersey, you can bet their stats would be a lot higher too. Plus, Lopez had his two worst games of the season against Howard. In his first game against Howard, Lopez went for just 11 points and 5 rebounds and on his second game it was even worse with 4 points and 5 rebounds on 1-12 shooting.
Final Verdict: Lopez is going to be an All-Star for many years to come, but unfortunately this year won’t be the year his run starts. The Nets are just too bad of a team and there are too many politics involved to give Lopez some serious consideration this season. Even if Shaq or Howard gets injured, the league will probably choose Horford or another forward as the replacement. But if Lopez continues to get better and the Nets start winning in a few years, you won’t be able to deny him.
Should Brook Lopez be an All-Star?
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