If an NBA coach told you before a game last season that his team needed to pay attention to Brook Lopez when he set up beyond the three-point line, you would have thought he was trying to be funny.
Yet 13 games into the season, the Nets’ 7-footer is starting to get some respect for his ability to shoot from beyond the arc.
“We have to look at it as not just an anomaly,” Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said before his team’s 129-109 win over the Nets at Barclays Center on Sunday. “He’s shown he can shoot them and make them and it’s a threat. We have to close the space and not concede those threes.”
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson told Lopez at the start of the season that he wanted him to expand his offensive game and attempt more threes. Lopez is the Nets’ second-leading three-point shooter, which admittedly doesn’t say much about the prowess of the Nets’ offense with starting point guard Jeremy Lin on the bench with a hamstring injury.
Lopez, who was 2-for-4 from downtown Sunday afternoon, is 22-for-60 (36.7 percent) for the season. That is quite a contrast with his first eight NBA seasons, when Lopez attempted a total of 31 three-pointers and made three.