Brook Lopez says Bucks’ East Finals loss against Raptors was a learning experience
Brook Lopez had a terrific first season with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018-19, helping lead the team to the best regular season record in the league. Unfortunately, their season ended in disappointment after they bowed out to the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors, in the Eastern Conference Finals.
HoopsHype got to speak with Lopez recently and asked him about how their deep playoff run and experience of losing last year would help them this upcoming season:
Brook Lopez: It was great. It was great for all of us, honestly. It was our first year with Coach [Mike] Budenholzer and it was my first year there too. To do what we did in that initial year was fantastic. We were all disappointed, obviously, that we weren’t able to go all the way. We really felt we could’ve. But I think we learned a lot from that experience. We’re taking it all in and now we’re ready to go this year.
The Bucks won 60 games last season and had a historical year offensively and defensively. They were heavily favored to go all the way to the Finals, especially after they went up 2-0 against the Raptors through the first two games of the Conference Finals. However, they weren’t able to sustain their excellent play as they eventually lost four straight.
The Bucks experimented with Lopez last season and signed him to a team friendly one-year, $3.4 million deal. Lopez was just the right fit for Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer’s system as a stretch big that can complement superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo’s game so well.
The former All-Star fired away from long-distance as a little over 65 percent of his attempts came from beyond the arc. He attempted 512 three-pointers throughout the regular season, averaging over six per game, which is by far the most he’s shot the three in his entire career.
Given how he fits so well in Milwaukee’s system, they rewarded the stretch big man and secured him with a four-year, $52-million contract this past summer.