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Despite star additions, Lopez still may be Brooklyn's most important player

10/11/2013 11:22 AM ET
By Doug Williams

BACKGROUND

After playing his college ball at Stanford, Brook Lopez was drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. He is the twin brother of Robin Lopez, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers. At 7'0, 275, Lopez is a presence at the center position and is known as a scoring machine. He has averaged about 18 PPG throughout his career.

LAST SEASON

In the 2013 season, Lopez played in his first ever NBA All-Star Game. He averaged 19.4 points with about 7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. Lopez had the ability to focus on scoring from the center position because of the Nets ability to rebound at power forward with Humphries, Blatche, and Evans. The only knock on Lopez's season was his non-double-double average, but rebounders like Evans are the reason for that. On a team full of veterans, Lopez was known as the rising star and his appearance in the All-Star Game only further solidified that.

THIS SEASON

Lopez is poised for a huge year offensively. He dominated the paint last year, shooting over 50% from the floor, and now the Nets have added significant pieces to help him like Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and most importantly, Kevin Garnett. The early reports from training camp are that Garnett is thrilled with Lopez's ability and is taking him under his wing in practices. If Lopez, who is already an All-Star, can improve his game by learning from KG, the sky is the limit for the North Hollywood native. It's very possible that Lopez will fly underneath the radar of defensive game plans, especially because there is so much other proven talent on the floor. These kinds of teams, with a lot of perimeter shooting talent, usually end up relying on their big men to get the hard earned points. And the more you talk about Lopez's ability to do that, the more you realize that this is going to be a good season not only for him, but for this Nets team as a whole.

I predict another All-Star year from Lopez: 20 PPG, 9 RPG, 2.5 BPG. 

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