Las Vegas Summer League Day Seven July 19, 2008 The former Stanford Cardinal had a nice start to the game today, notching two blocks on successive possessions, and finishing a nice left handed hook shot and a tip dunk on the other end. Lopez has shown good touch with both hands this week, and as he gains consistency and experience, could develop some nice go-to-moves with either hand. Thatís contingent on the development of his footwork, which only looked decent in the games heís player this week. Heís not skilled enough to be a feature scorer, but he has the potential to be a starting caliber player. His midrange game is still a work in progress, and he doesnít have a fluid release. Lopez had a nice game defensively, but still needs to work on his anticipation and awareness. [Read Full Article] Las Vegas Summer League Day Four July 16, 2008 Lopez had a nice game, but seemed to slow down as the game progressed. He showed good touch with both hands offensively, something thatís going to serve him extremely well as a rookie. Heís got nice fundamentals, and got to the line frequently by being aggressive. In contrast, he had a very hard time using that aggressiveness defensively and on the glass. Lopez showed poor awareness and lateral quickness as a help side defender, which was very surprising. He missed a number of opportunities to get shot blocks from the weak side, getting over too late to make a difference. Thatís something that was likely due to just how long it has been since Lopez has seen real game action. He got bullied on a couple of occasions defensively, getting scored over and getting sealed a couple of times by Houstonís less than stellar centers. [Read Full Article] NBA Draft Media Day, Part 2 (Bayless, Westbrook, Gordon, Augustin,etc) June 25, 2008
[Read Full Article] NCAA Tournament Performers, 3/26/08-- Part Two March 26, 2008 Slowly emerging from the shadows of his more heralded brother Brook with some extremely impressive play over the past six weeks, Robin Lopez is establishing himself as a pretty legit prospect in his own right lately, one who could make a dent on mock drafts as well, especially now as his team is about to embark on the Sweet 16.
Lopez seems to be improving considerably from month to month as he acclimates himself more and more to college basketball. Heís playing virtually the same amount of minutes as he did last season, and is taking a similar amount of shots, but is scoring at a substantially better rate (over 25%), mostly thanks to his improved efficiency from the field (upping his FG% from 48 to 54%), as well as the fact that heís getting to the free throw line more often, and converting better there too. Weíve seen a substantial amount of progress from Lopez within the season as well, and in fact seems to be playing his best basketball here in March, scoring 16 points per game in the NCAA tournament thus far, on 74% shooting.
Offensively, Lopez remains a fairly raw prospect, but he still manages to drop intriguing hints of potential from time to time with various moves he makes. He likes to post up on the left block and turn to his right shoulder primarily, and his big hands and solid agility allow him to slither his way around the basket and get shots off in ways his stiffer brother cannot. One interesting move he goes to a lot is a fluid, but unconventional half-hook, half-one-handed jump-shot, palming the ball and throwing it in the basket with range out to about 8 feet. He has a decent turnaround jumper in his arsenal well, and generally seems to make quick moves in the post without thinking a great deal, which is nice to see from an emerging big man. His excellent hands are a real asset here, and heís able to get his team all kinds of scraps around the hoop just by putting his length, size, mobility and solid activity level to use, especially on the offensive glass. He runs the court well, and seems to have solid toughness, not backing down from anyone, and not being afraid to throw his skinny frame around.
Lopezís footwork is nothing to write home about, and he doesnít have the type of strength needed to consistently establish position in the paint yet, even at the NCAA level. Heís a good, but not a great athlete, able to get off the ground to finish around the hoop, but not really exploding, and thus being again limited by his lack of bulk. His focus and decision making isnít always quite there, and itís not rare to see him committing various turnovers or violations, traveling, committing offensive fouls, spinning into double-teams, taking bad shots, etc. Heís clearly still a work in progress. It would help him to add some kind of a face-up game, as he doesnít appear to have any range or touch to speak of on his jump-shot, and heís also not a great free throw shooter at the moment. His feel for the game is pretty good, thoughóas you can see at times with the type of passes he makes out of the post, especially to his brother.
Defensively, Lopez has outstanding potential, and already makes quite an impact at the NCAA level. Heís a fiery player, much more emotional that his brother, and will get caught up in moments when he looks possessed on the defensive endógetting low in his stance on the perimeter, smothering players with his length, contesting every shot, being extremely physical, and locking up the paint with his terrific shot-blocking skills. His intensity seems to waver a bit, though, at times giving up far too much space for players to establish position in the post, biting on pump-fakes, and doing an extremely poor job defending the pick and roll. If he learns how to maintain the same intensity for every minute heís on the floor, he will at the very least be a terrific big man for an NBA team to be able to bring off the bench and provide energy, particularly with his shot-blocking skills. He has the upside to develop into a bit more than that, though. Lopez is a good offensive rebounder, but heís not nearly as effective on the defensive end. Oddly enough, his twin brother is the exact opposite, so itís quite possible that they are evening things out between them. Nevertheless, this is an area he needs to improve on, as it obviously wonít be his offensive game that gets him on the court.
Although he would clearly benefit from another year in college, particularly with his brother out of the way, which would allow him to play more minutes at his natural position (center) and see more offensive touches, that might not be the case when itís all said and done. It seems like he might want to declare for the draft as well, especially if heís projected as a first round pick, as expected. A lot of that will probably come down to how he plays this weekend in the Sweet 16, with his first test coming against #2 seed Texas. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-10 (Part Two: #6-#10) September 20, 2007 While not as far along in skill development as his brother Brook, Robin Lopez is still quite the prospect himself, standing a legit seven feet tall with great length and good athleticism for a player his size. Lopezís offensive game is very raw at this stage of his development, but he is a formidable rebounder and defender, with plenty of room to grow in all aspects of his game.
Most of Lopezís offense comes from inside the painted area, though the only time he really looks comfortable there is on offensive rebounds and dump-offs where he can go right up with the ball. Lopezís post game is very mechanical, and his lack of touch and awareness on this end of the court donít help matters either. Lopez has shown flashes of a jump hook, which can look very good or very bad, and a turnaround jumper, which almost never looks good. Lopez does actually have pretty good footwork in the post, relative to where the rest of his offense is, which he will occasionally show on up-and-under and step-through moves where he can fake his man to create high-percentage shots. Sometimes this can lead to successful plays for the seven footer, but other times it leads to him being caught under the basket throwing up a prayer, as his awareness isnít the greatest. He doesnít always seem to play within his limitations, but the potential is there for him to develop a more formidable low-post game, even if heíll always be a bit on the mechanical side. Lopez does take contact pretty well, even though he could still add more muscle to his frame.
Lopez has shown the groundwork of a spot-up jumper, attempting field goals out to 18 feet, but he hasnít shown much success at this stage. His form isnít terrible, though, so this is something he could definitely add to his arsenal over time.
One thing Lopez does really well on the offensive end is rebounding, establishing good low position and using his length and strength to grab rebounds over the competition, converting putbacks at a high clip when he goes straight up with the ball rather than gathering himself and trying to outmaneuver the defense. Lopez is also good rebounding the ball on the other end of the court, consistently sealing out his man and showing good instincts for following the ball off the rim.
Lopez also excels on the defensive end, where he has good awareness, a fundamental base for post defense, and the physical tools to really impact the game, even though heís prone to occasional lapses and foul trouble due to his active style of play. Lopez maintains good position on the low block and does a good job blocking shots in man-to-man situations, though his lateral quickness can be exploited on post moves going across the lane. Likewise, his lateral quickness is also a weakness if taken out to the perimeter, though his length and timing often allow him to recover from behind if his man gets past him, either in the post or from the perimeter. Lopez is a good weakside shot-blocker, using his physical tools to patrol the lane, also doing a good job contesting shots in transition by running the floor.
Unless he makes great strides with his game this season, Lopez will probably need to wait to declare for the draft, as his offense could still use a lot of work, which he could best get done in college. Lopez has plenty of room to grow in all areas, though, and with his physical tools and continued development, he should be at least a first rounder sometime down the road. [Read Full Article] LeBron James Skills Academy Day Three July 10, 2007 Brookís brother Robin showed much more toughness in the open gym, but was far less refined on the offensive end. Robin was extremely mechanical on the offensive end, almost to the point that he looked uncomfortable when he touched the ball on the low blocks. He did show off a little right-handed jump hook, but very little else when he received the ball in the post. Lopez impressed us with his toughness and willingness to battle against Jeff Adrien, a player far superior to him in terms of strength. The Stanford center attempted multiple jumpshots from the 15-foot range, but with little success. Either way, while Brook may get to the NBA sooner then his brother, Robin will surely see himself as a first round pick by the time his tenure as a Cardinal, barring some sort of catastrophe. [Read Full Article] NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (round of 64, Thursday)--Down/Neutral March 15, 2007 Stanford freshman Robin Lopez had a less then memorable NCAA tournament debut against Louisville Thursday afternoon, fouling out in 12 minutes while being completely dominated by fellow freshman big man Derrick Caracter. He displayed little sense of urgency throughout the Cardinal's blowout loss, which does not bode well for him in the eyes of NBA scouts.
From the tip, Lopez struggled defensively against the stronger Louisville front line. He routinely gave up incredibly low post position, putting himself in situations where he virtually had no choice but to commit a foul. The talented freshman relied far too much on his shot blocking ability rather than actually playing positional defense, a trait that will have to change as he gains more strength and experience.
While it has never been a question that Robin will be staying in school for another season (at least), his final game of his freshman season will surely keep him around the Pac-10 for another year. He has all of the raw tools to become a productive center in the NBA one day, but it is clear that he needs a considerable amount of polish before that happens. Hopefully for his sake, he is able to get more touches on the low blocks next season to show scouts he can score, as opposed to the five or so shots per game he received this season at Stanford. [Read Full Article] 2006 McDonald's All-American Game, individual player breakdown March 30, 2006 While the numbers may not jump out at you, Robin Lopez played a very nice game for the touches he received Wednesday night. Lopez defended Greg Oden to the best of his capability, ran the floor well, and fought very hard for every single rebound. His lone field goal was on a beautiful spin move and left handed hook shot over Oden that really made me open my eyes. Robin is not as far advanced as his brother Brook is on the offensive end, but is the better defender of the twins headed to Stanford. Expect the California duo to step in next year and give the Cardinal some much needed frontcourt help. [Read Full Article]