Knicks Impressed With Robin Lopez’s Defensive Tenacity


The New York Knicks signed Robin Lopez to a$54 million four-year deal to anchor the defense, and so far head coach Derek Fisher is liking the tenacity the big man has shown during training camp.

"“That basically all tables, stanchions and what appear to be immovable objects should get out of the way when he gets pissed off,”“If a guy scores on him or something doesn’t go well, he tends to make sure that everybody knows that he’s not happy. Just having a guy with that type of mindset protecting the basket for you, we hope, can be a good thing.“"

Fisher is happy about the defensive mindset Lopez brings to the ball-club. During media day, Lopez shared the same sentiments, saying he hopes his defensive tenacity is infectious.

"“My focus for defense, obviously it begins with what I can do myself, deterring things at the rim.”“I like to think I’m the last line of defense and defense is just passion a lot of times.” “I think that’s contagious and if that can spread to my teammates that’s wonderful.”"

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Last season Lopez was able to change opponents field goal’s conversion percentage by -5.1% within six feet of the rim, per Although last year Lopez was affected by a right hand injury, in the year prior (2013-2014) Lopez altered opponents field goal’s conversion rate by -13.2% as compared to their normal field goal percentage within six feet of the rim, per

Lopez’s presence will be very much welcomed on a team allowing opponents to score 101.2 points per game last season. New York last season allowed opponents to shoot 46% from the field, fourth worst in the league as per

Knick’s superstar Carmelo Anthony is happy to have Lopez on his side now.

"“It will be a lot of playing around him and him being the anchor down there for us,”“I hated him as an opponent. He’s a big guy. He’s a load down there,”“… He’s a hell of a pick-and-roll guy. He sets crazy screens. I used to think it was dirty, but now I think they’re clean.”"

One hell of a pick-and-roll guy indeed, Lopez was ranked 24th in points scored as the offensive roll man, scoring 182 points last season per Although it will be interesting to see if New York will run as many pick-and-roll plays with Lopez as the Portland Trail Blazers did. Last season Portland frequently ran the pick-and-roll whenever Lopez was on the floor, accounting for 27.6% of Lopez’s plays per


"“He’s big time,’’ “We were winning all the drills today. They took him out and we lost. Goes to tell you right there. It’s good to know as of right now, the way we design our defense, it would be a lot playing around him being an anchor.’’"

In addition to defending the rim, Lopez is looking forward to playing in the Knicks’ triangle offense.

"“I do think there are a lot of facets of the triangle that I can take advantage of,”“I think it does a good job of spacing the floor for one. It does a great job of getting people into the right spots. I feel it really plays to my strengths. I stay around the elbow, around the blocks. I’m comfortable swinging the ball around the top of the key.“"

It will be very interesting to see how Lopez play in the triangle offense during the upcoming preseason games. Another thing to watch out for during preseason will be how well Lopez anchors the defense for the Knicks.

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