If you haven't realized that Brook Lopez is an elite offensive center by now, then there's a solid chance you've been living directly under not just one rock, but rather a whole pile of them. The Stanford product was one of the better scorers in the NBA last season, and he was a deserving member of the All-Star squad.
However, Lopez is by no means without his weaknesses.
He's a putrid rebounder, especially when you consider the fact that he's a legitimate 7-footer, and his defense isn't very good at all. Lopez improved defensively, but he still struggled on that end of the court despite what his 2.1 blocks per game might tell you.
Improving both of these areas is vital, as it takes a lot of pressure off Kevin Garnett and allows for more playing time to be doled out in Lopez's general direction. The Nets have a luxury item on the bench in the form of Reggie Evans, but playing him makes the offense much more limited.
Lopez has been trending in the right direction lately when it comes to his rebounding numbers, though. During the 2012-13 season, he posted offensive, defensive and total rebounding percentages of 10.8, 16.1 and 13.4, respectively. Those all pale in comparison to the rest of the league's premier big men, but they're marked improvements over the two seasons prior.
Now it's time for his defense to follow suit.
While his defensive rating jumped in the positive direction last year, that was more a function of an improved Nets team starting to come together. That's not the best testament to his individual skills.
Let's turn to Synergy Sports (subscription required) and take a look at how many points per possession he's allowed in certain defensive situation over the last few years. Due to the small sample size in the 2011-12 season that stemmed from his foot injuries, I'll be comparing 2010-11 to 2012-13.
Lopez has taken steps forward as an isolation defender, but the rest of the improvements are fairly minimal. He needs to continue getting better in the post—he ranked only 177th among all qualified players—or else defenses are going to continue manufacturing opportunities against him on the blocks.
Garnett's presence should help, both from a mentoring and production standpoint, but Lopez still needs to prove that he can stay on the court against other offensively potent big men.