82. Robin Lopez, C, Bulls

Monday September 12th, 2016

There’s a delicious contrast to be found between Robin Lopez’s zany interests and the eminently overlooked nature of his game. By day, Lopez is a Star Wars superfan, comic book freak and Disney addict who dives into his passions as deeply as can be, often joining hundreds of like-minded devotees in mass celebration. By night, Lopez sets screens, dives hard to the hoop, flings in clunky hook shots, crashes the offensive glass, protects the basket area, and diligently boxes out—all of the underappreciated and forgettable things that ensure his more recognizable teammates can get their numbers and his teams can win a few more games. He’s rarely been a player of note on the NBA’s postseason stage, and even his new coach, Fred Hoiberg, accidentally called him “Brook” (his more decorated twin brother’s name) during a press conference this summer. Truthfully, man NBA fans probably knows him better as “The guy with the weird hair that fights with mascots” more than anything that has to do with his actual job description. Even so, Lopez is a very fine all-around center who can be a positive contributor on both sides of the ball if the personnel around him plays to his strengths and helps cover up his weaknesses. (Last year: No. 84)

+ Fared better than Derrick Rose in PER, Win Shares and Real Plus Minus in 2015-16
+ His 45.5 FG% allowed at the rim ranked in the top 10 among bigs (per NylonCalculus.com)
– His lack of mobility and lateral quickness limits him on the defensive end
 Has a tendency to clog the paint, which could prove especially problematic in Chicago


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