MarShon Brooks working on attacking off dribble, finishing

6 Comments

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.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

AP Photo/Tony Dejak
Leave a comment

BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

2 Comments

Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.