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Under the radar leader

Robin Lopez | C | Portland Trail Blazers Notable stat: Fourth in offensive rebounds Labels that were used to describe Lopez in the past were "strange," "lazy," "not very skilled," "doesn't love basketball." However, check out the league leaders in offensive rebounds this season. Sitting behind "man-child" Andre Drummond, "elite athlete" DeAndre Jordan and the "world's strongest post player" Nikola Pekovic, is the "strange" and "lazy" Robin Lopez. It's true that Lopez is playing in a perfect system to snatch missed shots; Portland has lots of shooters who spread the floor and plays at a fast pace. He might be a role player on that team, but it takes size and heart, plus agility, to make the kind of impact Lopez has made. That is a huge key for good teams -- role players who aren't just "glue" guys but rather impact players. Lopez is not just grabbing rebounds in the air, he is outcompeting guys to get those balls. His quick feet and omnipresence inside allows him to make plays on most missed shots, and he has improved his ability to go up and finish those missed shots in traffic. Simply put, he is a problem for opponents who must now account for him in their scouting reports. They are failing to do so thus far.

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