“I don’t think they [trust me] because I haven’t really played against any good teams,” Brooks told ESPNNewYork.com after scoring 12 points in a 106-101 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night at Barclays Center.
After saying before the season that he wanted to be the Sixth Man of the Year, Brooks’ playing time and production have been wildly up and down: under former Nets head coach Avery Johnson, Brooks was often out of the rotation for his defensive ineptitude. When the coaching change occurred after 28 games, many, including Brooks, thought things would change.
It hasn’t. For the season, Brooks has averaged just 5.4 points on 12.5 minutes per game, down from the 12.6 points in 29.4 minutes per game he received last season.
Brooks isn’t quite sure when his opportunities will come, but he’s sure to stay ready when they do:
“I have no clue,” Brooks said. “I just roll with the punches and have to be ready for whatever happens.”
One thing that has plagued the slender swingman this season has been turnovers. Brooks carries a 13.4% turnover rate this season and admits that taking care of the ball is something he has to work on:
“I just need to take care of the ball. I think I’ve been turning the ball over a little too much,” said Brooks, who has handled the precarious situation like a consummate professional. “I just have to find a rhythm instead of doing too much in such a short period of time in order to make an impression.
“I just try to go out there and play perfect basketball, and the way I play, it’s kind of tough because I’m a risk-taker, and I try to make things happen. Every once in a while I make a mistake. It’s just tough.”
It remains unclear whether Brooks will have a significant role in the postseason. Likely, head coach P.J. Carlesimo will shorten his rotation even further, thus potentially reducing the role of the inconsistent Brooks to almost nothing. Putting aside his individual worries, Brooks does say that he thinks the Nets will have a significant opportunity to go deep into the playoffs.