Considering the expectations, 44th overall pick Markel Brown had a solid first season in Brooklyn, sneaking into the starting lineup after the All-Star Break. He showed off a nose for on-ball defense, most notably bothering James Harden into an off shooting night in one of his first career starts. He rose up for the team’s best in-game dunks of the season.
Now, Brown needs to build on his successes and failures. The 23-year-old guard sat down with a reporter in his Peabody hometown to reflect on his season, and how the coaches want him to evolve… most notably improving as a scorer and passer:
“All the coaches know I’m a solid defender, but they want to see me go out there and score the ball,” Brown said. “They want to see me do it on both ends. Even though they know I can score, I didn’t try to do too much my rookie season. But going into next season, they want me to help contribute more for the team. My goal for the offseason is to get in the gym, score the ball and be able to handle the point guard spot.”
Brown was never the primary distributor in his four years at Oklahoma State, maxing out at 2.9 assists per game in his senior season next to fellow NBA guard Marcus Smart. But the Nets could use some depth at point guard, and it might be a veiled note that the Nets expect to have fewer NBA-quality point guards next season, as they look to deal one or both of Deron Williams & Jarrett Jack.
Brown should also look to improve his outside shot. He hit just 26.6 percent on NBA three-pointers in his rookie season, and it was clear that he struggled to shoot from the right side of the floor, hitting only one of 26 attempts from the right wing & corner:
Luckily for Brown, shooting is a skill that shows improvement over time. He’s already got the otherworldly athleticism he needs. The next step is fine-tuning the mental aspect.
Brown also reflected on his first year. “I didn’t try to do too much out of my boundaries,” he told The Town Talk. I just wanted to go out there and do everything I can to help the team. I think with doing that and playing hard, it led me to starting for the rest of the season.”
The Town Talk — From reserve to starter: Markel Brown relives rookie season