Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — With time running out in overtime of the Brooklyn Nets' preseason finale against the New York Knicks on Wednesday evening, MarShon Brooks got to the rim, rose above his defender and put a layup off the glass, but it rimmed out.
The buzzer sounded, the Knicks won 97-95 and Brooks, with an exasperated look on his face, slapped his own wrist as he pleaded for a foul call. The official called nothing and with that, a frustrating final sequence capped a frustrating preseason for the second-year reserve guard."Unfortunately, that shot just didn't go down," Nets head coach Avery Johnson said in the bowels of Nassau Coliseum late Wednesday night. "We like that shot, we like MarShon taking that shot for us, and it just didn't go down. Ball kinda rimmed out for us."
October has been a forgettable month for Brooks. Once thought to be a lock as the Nets' sixth man, it was announced on Oct. 11 that he was dealing with right foot tendinitis and would miss 7-10 days. With that timetable, the former Providence College star missed the team's first three preseason games.
Once deemed healthy enough to come back, he made his preseason debut against the Boston Celtics on Oct. 18, playing just 15 minutes and scoring seven points. The next night against the Philadelphia 76ers wasn't much better as he played just 12 minutes and scored six points.
With Johnson saying the goal on Wednesday was to get Brooks about 26 minutes, he went 34 thanks in part to overtime, but endured a 2-for-10 shooting night. That included a look from close-range with less than 30 seconds left in regulation. followed by a tip-in opportunity that would have given the Nets the lead.
"I think I could make those shots if I try them again right now," Brooks said. "I just missed two very good looks, it happens. I wish I would've finished a little stronger. I had a chance to get out there and get some shots up. I got a lot of shots I liked, but I missed a lot of chippies, but it is what it is. That's the way the ball bounces sometimes."
With the starting backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson cemented, combined with the fact that reserve guard C.J. Watson has looked very good this preseason, Brooks' role could diminish from what it was last season. As a rookie during the 66-game, lockout-shortened season, Brooks played in 56 games with 47 starts. He averaged 12.6 points in 29.4 minutes per contest.
"Still a young player, still a young player," Avery Johnson said. "Whatever the good, bad and ugly was, we wanted him to play minutes and we accomplished that."