Brook Lopez's post presence

Nets center Brook Lopez has improved as both a rebounder and shot-blocker this season. Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images

Editor's note: This is Insider's weekly series that identifies and analyzes tendencies or trends exhibited by five players.

The thing about identifying trends among NBA players is discerning whether a trend is simply a recent pattern of performance or an actual indication of a shift in skill set. Has the player actually added a particular skill to his repertoire? Is he showing signs of decline?

In a sports industry where athletes get labeled quickly and are often grossly generalized, players must work hard to shed those labels. The Brooklyn Nets' starting center, Brook Lopez, is one such example.

He came into this season with the reputation of being a scoring center, but he couldn't -- or wouldn't -- rebound worth a damn. This season, Lopez has done his best to erase that reputation, as are two other young players. However, two veterans on our list this week seem to be regressing. Again, is the trend happenstance or harbinger?

Brook Lopez | C | Brooklyn Nets


Trend: Improving as a rebounder and shot-blocker