Welcome to 2013-2014's first official Free MarShon Brooks post.
To get this out of the way, in terms of efficiency so far Brooks has been middling in two years with Brooklyn. His player metrics overall show him better than replacement, but not quite average in terms of production. But, with the exception of Rondo, and to a lesser extent Lee I have just described the entire Celtics guard rotation. Brooks is also one of the Celtics guards in the stage of his career where we can reasonably expect to see some improvement in those numbers.
In addition, Brooks does have some identifiable skills that make him intriguing. In my previous cluster analysis Brooks scored out as a Slashing Guard and a Shot Creator. Brooks can get to the rim and score effectively.
|Attempts at Rim
per 48 minutes
|Field Goal Pct
Even though I am working on research trying to estimate a value for stretch in the offense, and the NBA is gaga over three point shots, there's a huge value to getting to the rim. (Of course, getting to the rim and burying threes are complimentary. Players drive to kick the ball out and space floor to open lanes to the basket).
But, overall there is more value to getting to the basket than the three ball, at least on any individual shot attempt. Shots at the basket have a higher effective field goal percentage, generate more free throws and are more likely to lead to offensive rebounds than shots from further away.
Here's a great visualization of the rebound effect from Kirk Goldsberry using an analysis with SportsVu video tracking.
I squinted really hard at the image, since I haven't found any data representation on-line. Then I combined the Hoopdata shot location data and the Kirk Goldsberry rebounding effect to spitball the value of a shot at each range with the rebounding effect included. Since shots near the rim are 8% more like to be rebounded by the offense than the average of 32%, I added the differential to the expected effective field goal percentage to get what I am calling the Expected Offense Value.
|Shot Location||HoopData FG%||Expected Offensive
|Long Two (16-23)||38.30%||28%||-4%||36.83%|
I could go even further, because as every coach preaches and the data shows, making your shots helps the defense. According to numbers from Evan Zamir last year, effective field goal percentage by the opposing team after a made shot was about 3.5% lower than after a defensive rebound (47.1% vs 50.6%), because the defense had time to get back.
This relates back to finding time for MarShon Brooks because he excels at the game's most efficient shot. Leading up to training camp some of his new team mates commented that Brooks was the best one on one player, I imagine it was because of his ability to get to the bucket.
The percentiles compare Brook's number to all other guards in the NBA over the last three years where he was in the top 80% percentile for each according to HoopData.
|Pct Shots at Rim||Percentile Shots at Rim||Attempts at the Rim per 48 min||Percentile in Att at Rim per 48 min||Field Goal Pct at Rim||Percentile Rim FG%|
Of course, there are reason's you haven't seen Brooks in any All Star games. By all accounts his defense needs work, though his blocks and steals numbers aren't terrible due to his long wing span. But, I don't want to know how a Crawford/Brooks back court would do on the defensive end over an extended period.
Also, Brooks' stretch game is weak. He shot 27% from three last year, which put him in the 23 percentile over the last three years, though that was down from 31% the year before. It's hard to imagine too much time with a Rondo/Brooks back court if those numbers from distance don't improve.
The good news is that there is some reason to believe that Brooks can improve in his weak areas. One is simply age and NBA experience, Brooks is still on the right side of the growth curve. The other is that he did shoot better from three the year before at 31%, and his 73.4% free throw shooting indicates a decent stroke. And with his excellent attacking ability Brooks doesn't need to be Danny Green, he just needs make opponents respect his outside shot.
I think Brooks could pair nicely with Lee or Bradley, if Bradley's shot recovers. And to a lesser extent Phil Pressey. As long as he's clear why he's in the game, to take it to the basket and kick it out when he can't.