Again, I love being able to turn to talented SB Nation bloggers for help on our newest acquisitions. This time we bring in Patirck Harrel from The Dream Shake to talk all about new Nuggets point guard Aaron Brooks.
Nate Timmons: 1.) What have been Brooks' strengths this season?
Patrick Harrel: Brooks has always been and continues to be an excellent shooter and strong scorer to bring in off the bench. He excels at getting his shot because of his quickness, and can explode any time he gets on the court. His patented move is a step back three that he hits with remarkable frequency, and he will wow the crowd with some shots from way downtown. Additionally, his time with Yao has helped him develop into an excellent passer into the post, a virtue that is unfortunately lacking on the rest of the Rockets' roster.
2.) What have been Brooks' weaknesses this season?
PH: Brooks has always been a point guard in name only. He struggles at times to initiate offense other when he's creating for himself, and never seemed quite comfortable with a lot of decision making. In the past, Brooks looked like he was either going to pass or shoot, but only one or the other, and when he got open at a time he was looking to pass he would hastily miss an easy shot or vice versa, missing an open pass after he drove for a shot.
On the other side of the ball, his diminutive frame makes him an easy target for defenses. He is decent at keeping guards in front of him, but many can shoot over his generously listed 5'11" height.
3.) What was his role with the Rockets?
PH: Brooks was the third point guard going into the season, however he was needed a number of times to fill in as Jeremy Lin, Patrick Beverley, and James Harden all dealt with injuries at different points in the year. When he was in the rotation, he was capable of filling in at both guard positions (I think he was at his best as a two-guard), and he flourished in a more off-ball role at times.
4.) Do you think Brooks can be a good distributor to Denver's wings and big men?
PH: I think Brooks will struggle a bit with a distributing role. He is effective when playing next to another playmaker, be it a dominant shooting guard or another point guard, and as a pure point guard, he is not tremendously valuable. He thrives in a pick-and-roll attack, so if the Nuggets can get him some opportunities there, he may have more success.
5.) Anything else we should know about Brooks?
PH: Brooks has been through a lot in his years in the league. He went to the D-League his rookie year, was thrust into a starting role during his sophomore year, then got banged up, bumped from the starting lineup and traded two years later. Since then, he's struggled to lock down a consistent spot, but has yet to complain anywhere he's gone. He's a tremendous locker room presence and will always stick up for his fellow teammates. Even if he wasn't playing much in Houston, he was a fan favorite and will certainly be missed.
Big thanks to Patrick Harrel for joining us, leave questions in the comments and we'll get Patricks to try to come in and answer some of them for us.
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