FanPost

Is Robin Lopez the Key to the Portland Trail Blazers Success?

Robin Lopez has never been the most notable or most important figure on his team. Take his time at Stanford for example, Robin Lopez played second fiddle to his twin brother Brook. Take the 2008 draft for example, Robin was drafted 15th as the second center taken, Brook was taken 10th by the then New Jersey Nets.

Unlike his brother, Robin has not played his entire career on one team. Robin, 25, still only in his 6th season, is now on his third team. After four seasons in Phoenix to the tune of very mediocre results, Robin moved onto the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) and after a much improved one season in the Big Easy was a mere thrown in part to the three team trade involving Grevis Vasquez and Tyreke Evans.

Lopez has been terrific for the Blazers for a multitude of reasons. For starters he allows the Blazers to play LaMarcus Aldridge at the power forward position. Aldridge, who is 6 ft 11 in and 240 pounds is able to use his post-up game to dominate smaller defenders. Aldridge has the ability to both score in the post, but also knock down a mid-range jumper both of which are very important to the Blazers offense. But more importantly, Lopez takes a ton of defensive pressure off of Aldridge. When physical centers such as Dwight Howard, Roy Hibbert, Marc Gasol, and Joakim Noah play the Blazers, Lopez is assigned to guard them, leaving Aldridge to not only go up against smaller power forwards on offense, but also not have to physically battle every possession with true centers.

Even though Lopez’ 9.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game are not spectacular he does a lot for the Blazers on offense. Not surprisingly with Lopez on the court, Rip City shoots a better percentage from less than five feet. But they also shoot a better percentage from the 15-29 foot range. With Lopez on the floor, opponents shot a worse percentage from the field and three as well. Per 100 possessions, opponents also score fewer points and collect fewer defensive rebounds as well.

With Lopez on the floor, the Blazers offensive rating is 112.5, with him off their offensive rating is 106.9. Their defensive rating is not surprisingly better with Lopez on the floor.

Lopez pulls an average of 4.2 contested rebounds per game which is 8th best in the league, and 50% of the rebounds he collects are contested which is tops in the league.

While Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge get most of the headlines for the 24-6 Portland Trail Blazers, center Robin Lopez is one of the most important reasons for the Blazers hot start through 30 games.

-Ben Pickman

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Blazer's Edge

You must be a member of Blazer's Edge to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blazer's Edge. You should read them.

Join Blazer's Edge

You must be a member of Blazer's Edge to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blazer's Edge. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker