The Milwaukee Bucks have revamped their approach to basketball after hiring head coach Mike Budenholzer this offseason, also bringing in free agent center Brook Lopez to morph an archaic offense into a 3-point happy one.
Lopez has had his share of great and disappointing performances, operating as a stretch-five with the ultimate green light to fire from beyond the arc. Tuesday’s win over the Detroit Pistons was one that makes Budenholzer look like a genius for his willingness to spot him up on the perimeter, as Lopez led the Bucks in scoring with 25 points, raining down 7-of-12 from distance in the process.
“I’ve learned that he’s going to make some of them,” Budenholzer said after a 121-98 New Year’s Day win over the Pistons, according to The Associated Press. “There are times when I’m like `What is he doing?’ Then they go in and I sit back down.”
Lopez has also had his share of awry nights, as evidenced by an 0-for-12 night against the Phoenix Suns in late November. Yet the unconventional sharp-shooting 7-footer has made seven threes in each of his last two games, hoping to carry that same stroke into the rest of 2019.
“I was feeling good.” said Lopez. “We were moving the ball really well and I was just trying to space the floor. My guys were making great passes to me all night. They’re so good at attacking the basket, drawing people and kicking out.”
The 30-year-old contributed two blocks and three rebounds, the latter more of an afterthought as he’s used as a sniper tower rather than the old-school post-up option which has now faded in today’s NBA.