Welcome to the Brew Hoop’s entirely subjective and emotionally-driven 2019-20 Milwaukee Bucks season player evaluations! Similar to last year’s series, we’ll take a look at each current Buck and ask three questions: what do they do that helps (Boon), what do they do that hurts (Bane), and whether they ought to be on this team (Belonging).
This article will feature one of the Lopez brothers, as we break down Robin Lopez and how he fits with the Bucks.
Robin’s Boon: 3-Point Shooting???
This was something that shocked nearly all Bucks fans in Robin’s debut campaign with Milwaukee. After his twin brother unleashed threes at a rate that earned him the Splash Mountain nickname in his first year with the Bucks, nobody thought lightning could strike twice. Rather, it was the belief that his defense would be the main component of his game. His defense did shine (per 100 possessions, he actually had a slightly higher DRtg than Brook — 105 to 100). However, his 3-point shooting was a very pleasant surprise. Per 100 possessions, he boasted a 33.3 percent 3-point percentage. His next best season? 28.6 percent in 2017-18 with the Bulls. The best moment that came from this? Following one game about ten games into the season, Robin was asked about having a higher 3-point percentage than Brook. He was quiet for about three seconds, then smirked and said, “I guess the numbers speak for themselves, don’t they?” I love the Lopez brothers poking fun at each other. It was one of my favorite storylines during the season.
Robin’s Bane: Playoff Consistency
After all of his effectiveness off the bench during the regular season, it was difficult for Lopez to get anything going in the postseason. In fact, he failed to stand out and actually fell out of the rotation. This came from when Budenholzer decided to focus more on small ball, which left Lopez on the outside looking in. Obviously, it’s tough to tell if that will happen again in next year’s playoffs. However, it is a little concerning that he did fade so much in the postseason after having quite the respectable regular season campaign.
Does Robin belong?
Given the fact that Robin has the option to return, it’s likely that will be the outcome. In my mind, yes, he does belong. He showed his worth as a backup center, and was utilized many times throughout the year. As our co-editor Mitchell Maurer previously mentioned, Lopez would also have to decline his option to re-enter the unrestricted free agent market. That may make it tough for him to find a team give him more than the $5M salary he’d earn with Milwaukee. If he can continue the strong defensive presence he exhibited, it’d continue the well-rounded defensive depth that Milwaukee bolstered. It’d be likely that his 3-point shooting could regress, but even if it does, it’d still make more sense to keep him in Milwaukee than not having him here. Plus, who wouldn’t want more of Brook and Robin joking around with one another?