Birthday: January 26, 1989
Hometown: Tucker, GA
Years Pro: 1
Very nice person at heart, i just dont share my starburst!!
— Marshon S. Brooks (@Marshon2) October 4, 2012
Nickname: Swag, Swag Sleeves
Nickname I'd Give Him: Secret Sauce (credit Andrew Gnerre)
How He Got Here: Shortly after the Boston Celtics selected Brooks with the 25th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, they shipped him to the Nets in exchange for the 27th overall pick (JaJuan Johnson) and a future-second round pick.
Contract: Brooks is in the second year of his rookie contract, which include team options that could (and likely will) potentially extend it to four years.
MarShon Brooks knows what he is. "I can score… I can create my own shot without a ball screen or an off-screen or anything," he said on draft night, and that hasn't changed in the NBA.
Brooks, one of two Nets players born in New Jersey (Tyshawn Taylor being the other), is a long, lean guard with an old-school post-up game and a bevy of crafty moves with the ball in his areanal. His first NBA season started late, thanks to the vomit puddle known as the NBA Lockout, but once he hit the scene, he quickly proved he belonged with a string of 20-point games and highlight-worthy shots. As the season progressed, Brooks struggled with the lack of a consistent role -- floating between starter and reserve from game to game, from first offensive option to out of the play seemingly from minute to minute.
Now, with a clearly defined role for the first time Brooks has lofty aspirations -- most notably, to win the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award. It's a longshot, but he could have worse goals.
MarShon makes basketball fun. The smooth shooting guard can get defenders off their feet with his wild pump fake, displays an impressive feel for the game on the offensive end, and can score in dozens of ways -- floaters, stepbacks, fallaway jumpers. You name it, Brooks has tried it and done it.
He’s not a black hole, though. Brooks is a surprisingly willing passer for his inexperience and penchant for scoring, and his assist numbers rose throughout the season. He's also got solid physical tools: his arms hang looooow (official wingspan: 7’1”) and his hands measured bigger than DeMarcus Cousins, the 7-foot, 280-pound Sacramento Kings center.
After a hot start to his rookie season, Brooks didn’t keep up his solid shooting, lazing into unnecessary fadeaways and attacking with less vigor as the season progressed. He isn't a terribly efficient scorer to begin with, so a tempered energy level didn't help. He could stand to learn from Ray Allen, a workaholic with a military-esque regimen for shooting the same way, every single time. Despite solid physical tools, Brooks is also a minus defender, and struggles remembering schemes, defending drives, and stopping isolations.
Three revealing numbers
1) 8.1. Brooks struggled to create looks in the few minutes he and Brook Lopez shared the floor. Without Lopez in, Brooks averaged 16.1 shot attempts per 36 minutes; with Lopez, Brooks averaged just 8.1 attempts -- about half. He scored more efficiently in these attempts, but was highly limited and didn’t look comfortable playing next to the team’s star center.
2) 3.8. The Nets relied on Brooks to create much of their offense when Deron Williams was off the floor, and Brooks’ youth showed -- he averaged 3.8 turnovers per 36 minutes and recorded more turnovers than assists with Williams out. With Williams in, Brooks turned the ball over just 2.2 times per 36 minutes, more than a 40% decrease. If the Nets have to rely on Brooks to create their offense without another point guard in the mix, they're in for trouble.
3) 55.1%. The short midrange spot is a difficult one to master - it usually comprises floaters, tough hook shots, or soft touch jumpers. Not many players find success in the space between the restricted area and the three-point line. But Brooks found a particular knack for hitting floaters and short j’s in that short midrange area from the left and center spots, shooting 55.1% from these two areas last season.
He may have had bigger individual “moments,” but this is my favorite MarShon game of his rookie season, and it isn’t close. He just had everything on display last night: spins, fakes, deception, change of speed, inside-outside, scoring, passing, rebounding, he had it all.
In the final game in New Jersey Nets history, Brooks shot 4-17 in a tankathon against the Toronto Raptors and turned the ball over 3 times while renowned NBA nobody Alan Anderson lit him up for 20 points.
From the Coach
"(He spent) the summer (working) hard in the weight room to get stronger. This is a big year for him. Last year… we had six players healthy a lot of games, so a lot of times guys got playing time just because I didn't have enough bodies. This year, if we're healthy, guys are going to have to be efficient with their minutes because we got a lot of depth this year. So he's going to have to improve on both ends of the floor."