Brook Lopez had one of the best nights of his career on Thursday night.
In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bucks center finished with 33 points to put his team 3-2 up in the series against the Hawks and one game away from the Finals.
Lopez’ performance caught the attention of everyone, with some (jokingly) comparing him to some of the greatest centers ever.
- TRENDING: Who is Brook Lopez’ girlfriend?
Both teams were without key players
Heading into last night’s action, all the talk was of Trae Young and Giannis Antetokounmpo sitting out Game 5 due to injury.
The Hawks’ superstar point guard has a bone bruise on his foot, while the Greek Freak suffered a nasty hyperextended left knee in Game 4.
However, after the game, attention switched to one man: Brook Lopez.
Tale of the interior: Brook Lopez dominates
The Bucks center bullied the Hawks in the interior, finishing with 33 points (14-18 shooting, 5-7 from the line), 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 blocks.
The game finished 123-112, with four different Milwaukee players scoring at least 10 paint points. Lopez led the way with 26 of his playoff career-high 33 points coming in the paint.
It was an excellent performance from the big man and one that puts the Bucks a game away from the Finals.
Twitter compares the Bucks center to a host of legendary NBA greats
NBA Twitter is at its best when it’s hyperbolic.
Ridiculously OTT when things are going well for someone, and overly harsh on someone (Paul George) when things aren’t going so well.
Fortunately, it was a case of the former last night, as Brook Lopez was compared to a number of all-time great centers.
Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Hakeem – Lopez was compared to them all, and while they were obviously tongue in cheek, they were still pretty entertaining.
Mike Budenholzer full of praise for Lopez after the game
Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer spoke to reporters about Lopez’ effectiveness after the game.
“I think there was great opportunity for him to just get the ball a little bit more, try and use him a little bit more, and he came through big time,” coach Budenholzer said.
“There were a couple where he just made plays, but he did it in a lot of different ways. He did it in pick-and-roll. He did it on the offensive glass, got to the free throw line. Just an overall really, really impressive effort.”
Lopez on stepping up without Giannis
Lopez himself realised that in Giannis’ absence, he would have to step up in order to fill the void.
“It’s absolutely just everyone stepping up together to fill that. Obviously no one can replace Giannis,” Lopez said.
“He’s a freaking two-time MVP, so much of what we do. No one person is going to replace that. It’s a matter of everyone stepping up, and I think everyone showed that their capable of doing that tonight.”