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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Brooks trying to earn coaching staff's trust

By Mike Mazzeo

Heading into his first NBA playoffs, Brooklyn Nets guard MarShon Brooks admitted that he doesn't feel he has the trust of the coaching staff.

"I don't think they [trust me] because I haven't really played against any good teams," Brooks told ESPNNewYork.com after scoring 12 points in a 106-101 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night at Barclays Center.

MarShon Brooks
MarShon Brooks scored 12 points in 29 minutes on Monday night.
Brooks, a talented scorer, has been playing better of late, averaging 8.9 points on 50 percent shooting in his past 10 games -- including a career-high 27-point outburst on April 3 in Cleveland. But was a DNP-coach's decision on Friday night in Indiana. On Wednesday night, he played just seven minutes in Boston. On April 4, he logged just 10 minutes versus Chicago.

After a regular season filled with more downs than ups, Brooks is uncertain of his role heading into the playoffs.

Veteran Jerry Stackhouse, now healthy, has seen increased minutes and has been knocking down his shots in April, while fellow vet Keith Bogans, despite his recent shooting struggles, is one of the team's best defenders. So playing time might be hard to come by.

"I have no clue," Brooks said. "I just roll with the punches and have to be ready for whatever happens."

Brooks came into the 2012-13 campaign -- his second season in the league -- with hopes of winning the NBA's Sixth Man Award. But those aspirations were short-lived.

Brooks was hurt during training camp and quickly found himself in Avery Johnson's doghouse because the Nets' former coach felt Brooks' defense wasn't up to par. With Joe Johnson anchoring the team's second unit, Brooks' minutes were sporadic at best. When he did get a chance, all it took was one turnover for him to be benched.

Brooks, 24, hoped things would change when interim coach P.J. Carlesimo took over. But for the most part, they haven't.

"I just need to take care of the ball. I think I've been turning the ball over a little too much," said Brooks, who has handled the precarious situation like a consummate professional. "I just have to find a rhythm instead of doing too much in such a short period of time in order to make an impression.

"I just try to go out there and play perfect basketball, and the way I play, it's kind of tough because I'm a risk-taker, and I try to make things happen. Every once in a while I make a mistake. It's just tough."

Regardless of how much he plays, Brooks thinks the Nets have a chance to make some noise in the postseason.

"We have the opportunity to go really deep. Whether we play Atlanta or Chicago, I think we match up really well as a team," Brooks said. "Everybody's clicking. Everybody's just coming around. This is the perfect time to be playing our best basketball."