MarShon Brooks: swag rarely surfed (SEASON GRADE)

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By the numbers: 73 G, 2 GS, 12.5 MPG, 5.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG, .463 FG%, .273 3P%, .734 FT%, .523 TS%, .485 eFG%

Advanced: 13.5 PER, 101 ORtg, 107 DRtg, 22.5 USG%, 4.1 ORB%, 9.4 DRB%, 6.7 TRB%, 14.6 AST%, 2.0 STL%, 1.3 BLK%, 1.3 estimated wins added

MarShon Brooks may be Brooklyn’s most interesting player. Coming in after a surprisingly optimistic rookie season in New Jersey, many — including Brooks himself — believed that he could make a run at the 6th Man of the Year Award. However, that quickly and clearly went down the drain once Avery Johnson filled the roster with veteran guards like Keith Bogans and C.J. Watson, sticking with them throughout the year. After starting most of last season, Brooks saw his minutes drop precipitously, and the world was forced to use the #FreeMarShon hashtag during game days. New Jersey’s brightest spotlight was extinguished in Brooklyn.

Which is why it’s so tough to give MarShon Brooks a season grade- what exactly is there to say about Brooks? When Brooks did get in under Johnson, he had a tight leash -— if he played rushed and poorly, he’d be lifted even quicker. MarShon Brooks was a complete enigma, a brain teaser or tongue twister -— no matter how hard you tried, it was impossible to figure out.

When Avery Johnson was fired shortly after Christmas and P.J. Carlesimo took over as interim head coach, many believed that MarShon would finally be freed as the Nets made their playoff push. Well, that wasn’t exactly the case either. Brooks admitted that he had confidence issues under Johnson -— the constant DNPs were taking a toll on the young player’s game. If Brooks got playtime, he’d force shots to try and make the most of his fleeting minutes. Most of the time, they wouldn’t fall and back to the bench Brooks went. Sometimes they fell and Brooks would get an extra minute of court time.

Brooks is an offensive wunderkind, with a slick dribble and fearlessness when driving. Brooks is one of the more creative players in the NBA and he even went so far in February to say that if he got more minutes, he could average 20 points per game. In the second game after Johnson’s firing, Brooks scored nine points to go along with three rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 20 minutes of playing time. He followed that up with good minutes and laughter against the Sacramento Kings. It could have been the start of a new era for Brooks —- we were wrong then too.

WATCH: MarShon Brooks Highlights, set to music that suits them

On April 3rd, against Cleveland, MarShon Brooks showed the skeptics that he had the talent and drive to be a successful scoring guard in the NBA. In place of an injured Joe Johnson, Brooks creatively enthralled, dropping 27 points on a very efficient 12-16, adding 4 rebounds and 7 assists in 37 minutes. The next game, Brooks got 10 minutes against Chicago; once more, it was back to the bench for MarShon.

Although his subpar defense frustrated Johnson and Carlesimo, Brooks can spin you out of your shoes; he even got Nets broadcaster Ian Eagle to say the word swag in regards to MarShon Brooks’ fancy game against Sacramento in January. But if a tree falls in the forest after impressing everybody except for the coach, does it make a sound?

For somebody that was supposed to challenge for a consistent role as sixth man, Brooks’ fall from grace has been disappointing, frustrating and inconceivable. Even when the veterans stopped hitting their corner threes, Brooks struggled to see the court. With a new coach next year, there is still hope left.

HIGH POINT: Hitting his first 10 shots en route to 27 points on 12-16 shooting in a victory over Cleveland:

LOW POINT: There were 32 games this year in which MarShon Brooks didn’t get 10 or more minutes of playing time. So, take your pick.

MY FAVORITE POINT: All of MarShon’s interviews with Alyonka Larionov.


Final Grade

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Full List:
Deron Williams | Joe Johnson | Gerald Wallace | Reggie Evans | Brook Lopez | Andray Blatche | C.J. Watson | Keith Bogans | Kris Humphries | MarShon Brooks | Mirza Teletovic | Tyshawn Taylor | Tornike Shengelia