Brown, who may have already passed Joe Johnson for the team’s best set of nicknames with Markeliavelli and Markelevation, is a naturally athletic shooting guard that isn’t strong at shooting, but makes up for that lapse with a focused defensive effort.
Big Stat: 10:15. That’s the amount of playing time Markel Brown received over the six-game series against the Atlanta Hawks in the postseason. Despite averaging 16.6 minutes per game in the regular season, his experience and need for Bojan Bogdanovic’s scoring effectively froze the rookie out of Lionel Hollins’ rotation.
Strengths: Man defense, dunking.
Weaknesses: Three-point shooting, overall offensive game.
2014-15 recap: Brown didn’t play much early, only racking up brief minutes in losing efforts. It wasn’t until February 23rd that Brown would finally have his big opportunity during an eventual Nets blowout victory in Denver, but he made the most of it.
With Jarrett Jack and Bogdanovic out injured, Brown played a big 45 minutes, racked up his first career double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds), added four blocks, and didn’t relinquish that starting role until Game 2 against the Hawks. All in all, it was an unexpectedly fun season from Brown, even receiving two of the league’s coolest nicknames and an epic Ian Eagle shout to boot.
2015-2016 Outlook: Brown could be in serious danger of falling out of Hollins’ rotation despite his reliable tenacity last year. He’ll do the most damage if he stays aggressive, gets into space, and wreaks havoc defensively. If he tries to compete with the other shooters at his position, he’s unlikely to find success, but if he can keep dunking and guarding the opposing team’s best player, Hollins will likely find time for him.
What a good season for Brown would look like: He carves out consistent playing time in Hollins’ rotation thanks to his active defensive effort, and he increases his 26 percent three-point shooting enough to allow his man-to-man defense to trump shooters that can’t help on the other side of the ball.
What a bad season for Brown would look like: Ellington, Johnson, and Bogdanovic soak up the majority of minutes at the shooting guard position and there’s little to nothing left for Brown. Left to battle with Sergey Karasev for garbage-time minutes, Brown could find himself at the end of Brooklyn’s bench once again.