Apr 25, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard MarShon Brooks (9) drives past Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng (9) during the second half of game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the United Center. Chicago won 79-76. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

MarShon Brooks, Kobe-lite?

It’s a sad day when a key player from the Laker team is traded away.  I hope Blake finds success with Golden State.

Still, the Lakers traded for two young wing players, MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore.  Laker fans may not know much about each player.  This article will shed some light on MarShon Brooks.

Apr 25, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard MarShon Brooks (9) drives past Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng (9) during the second half of game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the United Center. Chicago won 79-76. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Like a great draft prospect, Brooks has great physical tools for the shooting guard position.  Listed at 6’5.25″ with a 7’1″ wingspan, he’s able to play either wing position. Shooting guard comes most naturally to him.  So, you make ask yourself, “What’s with the hyperbole?  Kobe-lite?”  Those who have paid attention to his game have seen the similarities.

Offensively, he likes to take his man off-the-dribble.  He has a series of moves.  He’s able to attack the basket in either direction, using a stutter-step or a crossover at the beginning to shake his defender.  If help defense rotates early, he’s able to pull up effectively anywhere from 7′ to 20′ and make the shot with relative easy.  He has a floater in his back pocket as well.  What is surprising about his game is, he rarely takes spot up jumpshots.

He’s able to initiate pick-and-roll situations as the primary ball-handler as well.  He has solid ability to hit the roll-man and get an easy score.  If defensive coverage sags, his pull up jumper comes in handy.  Some may see some similarities to Nick Young.  Nick is more reluctant to attack the basket, and loves to set up his perimeter shot after a couple of crossovers.  That’s his signature move.  Brooks has a more advanced skill set with ball-handling and shot-creating abilities.  He excels at the mid-range game and is more likely to attack the basket with aggression.

At times, his play shows similarly to Kobe Bryant.  Some of the moves are eerily similar.

MarShon Brooks as Kobe Bryant

Athletically, he’s above average.  He has a very long stride that allows him to get by his defender after using a hesitation or crossover, and often pulls up from midrange. He doesn’t have mind-blowing quickness or a tremendous vert, but his athletic testing scores during Pre-Draft camp would show otherwise.  According to Draftexpress.com, as a camp participant, his no-step vert was 34″, two-step vert was 38.5″, and had 5.2% body fat.  More surprisingly, his lateral agility time was 10.74 seconds and 3/4 court sprint speed was 3.09 seconds.  Those are excellent results.  It indicates point guard-like vertical ability, lateral agility, and 3/4 court speed. During gametime, it’s not as easy to see that athleticism.

Defensively, he has all of the physical tools.  A 7’1″ wingspan is a longer wingspan than Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, and other power forwards in the NBA.  He has shown the lateral agility. It’s up to him to apply those physical tools with defensive IQ to become a solid, or even a great NBA defender.

At age 25, there’s room to grow.  He had a strong rookie campaign averaging over 12 points per game 42.8% from the field in just over 29 minutes of play.  Since then, his playing time has decreased gradually, all the way down to playing in the D-League. Competitive fire is what made Kobe Bryant great.  He made the best of his physical tools, applied basketball knowledge, and tireless work ethic to become the best player he could ever be. Brooks has all the tools, but the improvement hasn’t been so obvious.  Maybe the change of scenery will get his game going again.  If so, chalk this up as another steal for Mitch Kupchak.

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