In a season that can gently be described as disappointing, including currently having the worst record in the NBA and going without their best player (Jeremy Lin, although that’s always up for debate) for more than half of the campaign, the Brooklyn Nets still have a little something to celebrate before it’s over: A new franchise all-time leading scorer, Brook Lopez.
The current franchise points leader is Buck Williams, who also leads the Nets in games played, minutes, rebounds, turnovers and also win shares among other categories, scoring a total of 10440 points through 8 seasons with the Nets, averaging 16.4 points per game.
Lopez, at 10255, is the only other Nets player with more than 9000 points (Vince Carter has 8834, Richard Jefferson 8507), averaging 18.6 points through his 552 games with the team, into his 9th season with the Nets, starting his career when they were still based in New Jersey.
So what does this mean? Lopez is missing 186 points to become the team’s all-time leading scorer, and the Nets have 11 games to go. That’s 16.9 points per contest, which shouldn’t be that difficult, considering Lopez is averaging a career best 20.8 points per game this season, all while playing only 29.7 minutes a night. Even if the Nets give him a rest in one of the games, he should be able to keep up the scoring pace and end up with the top spot all-time before the season is over.
We’ve bashed the Nets quite a lot this season (or completely ignored them at times), and Lopez has his flaws. But each NBA franchise, successful or not, has a right to celebrate important milestones, even during bad seasons. Lopez already leads the Nets in offensive win shares and career blocks among other categories. Good for him that he gets to take the top spot (and he’ll hold on to it for a while, with no other active Nets player in the top 10) in the most visible category, and it’s nice to see the Nets having something to celebrate for once.