Brooklyn Nets v Chicago Bulls - Game Three

MarShon Brooks working on attacking off dribble, finishing


For his first couple seasons in the NBA, MarShon Brooks has been a potentially dynamic scoring guard who doesn’t score quite as well as you would hope.

He didn’t finish all that well at the rim (a mediocre 62 percent in the restricted area) and he shot 32 percent from the midrange and 27 percent from three last season. He’s athletic and strong in transition but struggled to fit into Brooklyn’s halfcourt offense. Plus, he didn’t defend well. He was one dimensional.

Now he’s getting a chance to get a fresh start in Boston — new team, new coach, new opportunity. Brooks told ESPN Boston he has worked on getting stronger and attacking off the dribble for the upcoming season.

His offseason workouts have been geared towards adding strength to help him finish near the rim (he wants to create more off the dribble), and conditioning to help him navigate an 82-game schedule.

“I just have to prove that I can do more than just score, get others involved as well, defend on the other end,” said Brooks. “It’s a great challenge. It’s what the NBA is all about. And I’m excited about my opportunity.”

Brooks faces one other challenge in Boston — they are loaded at the two. Avery Bradley will start (next to Rajon Rondo when he returns) then fighting for minutes behind him are Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford and Keith Bogans.

Brooks is going to have to be better to get the run he wants.

If he proves he can be steadier from the outside with the threat of the drive, he becomes more effective. He’s also got to get better on defense. The guys ahead of him on the depth chart are better than him in at least one area.

Brooks is just entering his third NBA season, when we often see a jump in productivity as players start to figure out both what they need to do and how to do it at this level. Brooks could be a great get — Boston wanted him as part of the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce moves, and they got him. Boston is betting on him making that leap.

We’ll see. It’s on Brooks now.

Kings’ Karl admits mistakes in DeMarcus Cousins trade controversey

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In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.

DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.

Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.

Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at

“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”

“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”

The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?

In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.

Pistons reveal “Detroit Chrome” alternate uniform

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I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.

Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.

The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:

The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.

Clean, simple, cool — I like it.

That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)