Brook Freaking Lopez

If Giannis is the Greek Freak, Brook really is Splash Mountain.

Jim Rome
May 16, 2019 - 9:49 am
Brook Lopez

USA Today

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In the buildup to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Giannis made the point that Toronto isn’t like Boston, you can’t just lose Game 1 and be fine. So the Bucks knew what they had riding on this game. They had to have it.

And they got it, 108-100 thanks to a 7-footer with a crazy wingspan who can do absolutely everything on the floor – rebound, block shots, run the break, dunk with authority, and hit threes. You knew a performance like that was coming in a crucial game, and you knew it was coming from a physically unguardable 7 foot freak. But did you know it was coming from… Brook Lopez?

You should’ve.

My guy isn’t just famous, he’s Fresno Famous. He and his twin brother, Robin, already have a mascot. If you haven’t had a chance to the mascot version of Brook or Robin Lopez, prepare to have your mind blown. You want some nightmare fuel? I’ve got your nightmare fuel. Here it is!!

I’m not sure what I love better, the fact that Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball team didn’t decide whether it was Brook or Robin, so they just went with Brook slash Robin Lopez. Or the fact that, as Robin pointed out, this monster is “walking around in a jersey with "BASKETBALL" on the front complemented w/ flesh colored shirts.”

Anyway, as scary as Brook Slash Robin was on Twitter, real Brook Lopez was even more horrifying to the Raptors. Never mind the Greek Freak, Toronto simply did not have an answer to him. 29 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 4 threes. If Giannis is the Greek Freak, Brook really is Splash Mountain.

If you were expecting to tune into a Giannis v. Kawhi battle, you got a Brook Lopez v. Kyle Lowry battle. And for much of that game, the Raptors were winning the battle and the war. Lowry was everywhere and doing everything. And had a golden opportunity to rip Game 1, on the road, after being up 7 headed into the fourth quarter.

Splash Mountain, which is an incredible nickname, by the way, started off slowly. But then he started cooking. And he broke out everything. After struggling from deep earlier in the playoffs, he finally got that going with this.

And when Splash Mountain is back in service, you know the whole game changes. While you’re thinking three, he’s thinking reverse up and under. 

And he’ll run the break and finish with a dunk. And then ice the game with one of his four bombs.  

All of which prompted Quincy Pondexter, another Fresno legend, to tweet: Hey Robin, when did you teach Brook how to shoot 3s like this and why is his celebration cooler than yours?!?

And Robin responded: “I'm having the time of my life at home watching Facts of Life reruns I swear to God”

Doubt that…my favorite part of that show was 20 years after it went off the air, the then middle school actors sat down for the documentary looking back and talked about how the producers were continually ripping food out of their hands because they had all gotten so fat.  And no one wanted to watch a sitcom with a bunch of fat teenage prep schoolers.  Anyway. Never mind the Facts of Life and why that gal Joe was constantly looking to give the other girls the hands. And any dude who looked at her the wrong way. Here are the real facts…

And here are the facts of the series: Milwaukee is up 1-0, which means that it’s time to trot out the cliché about a series not starting until someone loses at home.

Except that was a game they should’ve lost at home. Because they were crappy in the first half. They got out to a quick lead and the building was shaking... Literally.  It was LIT!! BUCKS FANS WERE LIT!! But then Toronto went on a huge run. That wasn’t the one-man team we saw during the Philadelphia series. That was the team with Kawhi and Kyle and Pascal, and Marc Gasol, and Danny Green, and Norman Powell. Everyone was getting in on the act early.

And then it all fell apart. Only three guys scored in the second half. As a team, they had a total of 17 points in the fourth quarter. That crew just slammed into the wall. And Splash Mountain took over, finished off the game, and then took to the podium wearing a Fresno Grizzlies jersey.

And that is going to leave a bitter taste in Toronto’s mouth. Game 1 was there for the taking. Home court was there for the ripping. And then it got away. They couldn’t finish. And not because they couldn’t deal with Giannis, but because they couldn’t deal with Brook.

And you can’t help but wonder if that’s going to come back to bite them in the ass.  That’s not just a case of Milwaukee holding serve at home. Toronto got a huge night from Kyle Lowry, Milwaukee couldn’t make a shot and the Raptors led big going into fourth quarter. Finish it, rip the home court, have all the confidence and mo, and then you’re just three games from the NBA Finals. But then it all fell apart, and the walked off the floor to chants of “Bucks in four”, “Bucks in four.”

Look this one isn’t is over. I don’t expect a former Bucks great like Brian Winters to bust out and go all Paul Pierce with it and say this series is over. It’s not. But Toronto has to flush this ASAP. Don’t let one loss become two. And for the love of god, someone, anyone, get up on Brook Lopez and get a hand in dude’s face or this will be a short series. Because anyone who knows anything about basketball and Fresno knows if this guy has as much as even an inch to operate, he will kill you. And if you didn’t’ know before, and I have no idea how you couldn’t’. But if you didn’t. You do know. You just don’t’ jerk with Brook Lopez.  Or Robin. Or whichever one plays with the Bucks.