Submitted by Cory Bernstein of Hoops Talk Nation
Brooklyn’s Finest 15 is the ranking of all 15 Nets based on what I think will be their impact on Brooklyn this season. Here’s number 7, MarShon Brooks.
MarShon Brooks needs to become Harvey Dent, a la ‘The Dark Knight”.
If you have not seen “The Dark Knight”, this may be confusing, but at the climax of the movie, which you can see here, The Joker reveals his plan to win Gotham City to Batman saying, “You didn’t think I’d risk losing the battle for Gotham’s soul in a fistfight with you? No. You need an ace in the hole. Mine’s Harvey.” We know what happens next (SPOILER BUT I DON’T FEEL BAD BECAUSE THIS MOVIE CAME OUT FOUR YEARS AGO), Batman kills Harvey Dent and the film ends with our hero on the run, but that is unimportant to us.
How does this relate to basketball?
For the Nets to be successful this year, they need an ace in the hole. They need their Harvey Dent, and that person is MarShon Brooks. To beat the Heat, Lakers, or Thunder, teams must have their X-Factor, a player who can come in the game and take over for minutes or quarters at a time. Year after year, we see the Harvey Dent’s of the NBA take over in crunch time and make the improbable possible. For the other twenty seven teams who do not have LeBron, Durant, or Howard, erratic, but confident shot makers are what is needed to shock the world at beat the league’s juggernauts. Players like Jason Terry and Robert Horry may not be superstars, but when going against the league’s best they have been deployed to make a difference and change the game, and hopefully MarShon Brooks can fulfill a similar role in Brooklyn.
For Brooks to Brooklyn’s Harvey Dent, the ace in the Nets’ proverbial hole, he needs to show confidence regardless of the situation. The starters get off to a slow start? No problem with MarShon on the bench. Unlike last year, where Brooks had to take bad shots in bunches because the Nets’ offense was putrid, Brooks will be surrounded with better players, allowing his game to become more efficient. He struggled last season with turning the ball over last year, but how can you blame him? The Nets’ 5-Man unit that saw the most playing time last year (per 82games.com) was Deron-Brooks-DeShawn Stevenson-Humphries-Shelden Williams. With DeShawn Stevenson as his counterpart on the wing in this and two of the other five most used Nets’ lineups involving Brooks last season, it was impossible for Brooks to be efficient. This year, Brooks will see much friendlier looks from opposing defenses, allowing him to play efficiently and effectively.
Like most of the Nets roster, Brooks is no stud, but he has really, really long arms. This allows him to block shots and create turnovers, but he needs to focus on his on-ball defense. That being said, when at shooting guard, Brooks’ counterpart had a mere 12.3 PER (stat from 82games.com again). This is not the be all end all of stats, but it shows Brooks is by not as terrible of an on-ball defender than many make him out to be.
For the Nets to be really successful this season, MarShon Brooks is going to have to step up his game. To compete with Eastern Conference powerhouses such as Miami and Boston, Brooks is going to have to be the Harvey Dent of this squad, the ace in the hole who Avery Johnson can throw into the game and make a difference. For the Nets to conquer Gotham, but also the entire East, MarShon Brooks has to become a more efficient offensive player while having the fearlessness and willingness to take important shots that he shows last season. The Nets lineup cannot win a fistfight alone with the heavyweights of the East. But with our Harvey Dent, our X-Factor who can change everything, we may have a puncher’s chance.