A Brief Look at Brooks’ Production

2010 February 8
by rahat huq

In my season preview, I had identified the maturation of Aaron Brooks as the single most critical personnel development theme for the year.

Let’s take a look at some of the numbers.

Nothing really jumps out here except that he struggled mightily in November and has been on a tear in his last 5 games.  I was surprised to see that he was scoring at nearly the same clip in wins and losses.  I assumed there would be greater disparity.

In terms of his shooting, except for November, you can see he’s been fairly consistent over the duration of the year.  However, despite scoring at nearly the same clip, you can see that there is a pretty substantial drop-off in his shooting from wins to losses.  Perhaps even more interestingly, despite the gaudy point totals, his shooting in his last 5 games has been on par with his overall season averages.

Taking a look at the shot attempts, we see that they have stayed roughly the same during wins and losses, but have gone up considerably in his last 5 games.  Unfortunately, it seems that rather than improved play, more chucking is the driving force behind Aaron’s recent ’surge.’

I also thought it would behoove us to compare his performance thus far to last season’s playoffs.  The ‘09 playoffs serve as an appropriate barometer for Brooks’ growth because, as I have explained in the past, the matchups were conducive to production inflation.  Blake and Fisher are the two worst starting point guards in the league so it doesn’t tell us much that Aaron exploded against them.  We wanted to see how he would fare this year against the rest of the league in relation to that production against the most favorable circumstances.

We see that his usage has gone slightly up while his shooting has gone slightly down.  However, he has assisted on a far greater percentage of the team’s plays.  With that said, I would not necessarily attribute this to improved playmaking abilities – he simply has the ball in his hands a far greater amount of the time with the absence of Yao.

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  • HoustonGarrett
    Good production; however, it's a waste win Houston is unable to get the 'W'! I know that's another fan ragging on the coach and the players... But that's not the case. What I've noticed is that Houston has the talent, but they don't use all of their assets. It would appear that Coach Adelman needs to take a page out of the play book of Coach Payton. Houston's 4th quarter go to man, Landry, has been figured out by the rest of the league. They respect Houston, they respect the 'Wagon' and have figured out a way to win. It's hard to see, game after game of Houston letting the game slip out of reach. It would appear, IMO, Houston needs to use that under-used bench for it's scoring... I.E. Anderson, Cook, Budinger, Taylor with Lowry... Let this combo get a true run!!! I know that it sounds too risky, but is it really? Have you noticed at the end of he game, Houston tries to pound the ball inside, Landry is fronted and Houston gets the 'L'... It's been scouted and is very effective... Houston doesn't have a All Star, it has a star 'Ariza', and other rising stars, but no All Star on the court at this time... Houston needs to focus on this perimeter shooting and have a true 'G' in to drive the lane to either score, get contact and finish... I don't question the Coach, because I don't have a basketball resume at all!!! BUT, Ariza isn't a #2, he's playing out of position and it's showing. Battier is getting older and it's not that he's unable to get the job done... It's that he's one dimensional at this point... Houston has had a history of being an offensive powerhouse and that was yesterday... Not today... As with all things, we need to grow or die... I, along with the rest of the world, do not know what trade may or may not happen and it really doesn't matter at this point, if the perception is that Houston is soft... They have no heart... We all thought that Artest would help bring that mental/physical toughness, but that didn't really happen... Yao is a great player, but he doesn't make many tremble... I'm not saying that we need thugs or like the old Pistons, but Houston needs to send a message... For all of the comparisons with Hayes and Dorsey, it's time to experiment... As we know, Houston has a problem with injuries at the beginning, middle and end of the season... I will be a fan when Houston wins and when they lose; however, I believe that Houston is better then they tend to play at times. They are all grown-gifted men, we tend to forget that their abilities are greater then our own, we tend to live through them and make them a little more human (in our eyes). At the same time, it would appear that leader ship is lacking... NOT the kind that it takes to win, but the kind that it takes to feel the win. When I wrestled in high school, yes I went there, we were on the side lines apart of the match; although, it was an individual sport match, I knew my place, what the team needed and I fed off that energy... Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get my fat body on the court and think that I could get it done... That's not ever going to happen, I'm too short and out of shape for that to happen, yet I love basketball... I play with a skill set that would frustrate most gifted players, not because I'm great, but it's because I focus on the fundamentals and I want to take someone's well away from them... I want to see them acknowledge that I've won, because I wanted it more and more than they wanted. A true competitor wants to win, not by playing dirty... Just flat-out out performing them. For me, this is where Houston excels, for all of their parts are about hustle, grit and the rest of the league respects. Like in the Colts, the Saints respected Manning and studied how to take away everything else that he needed to when. Now I'm addressing the respect factor and draw no other comparisons... On the other hand, when you play all of your pieces at the right time, as in chess, you are better able to win... Not that you focus on using the same strategy, with the same old pieces that our opponent knows and just are not working for you... You have to adapt and overcome, as the Marines say, if we can't pound it inside, shoot from the outside and drive to create a shot or to draw the foul... We need to look at what other's have done to get the win... Orlando used this formula; even though, they had length, they were able to stretch out the floor and get the job done. At times, we tend to focus on what a person cannot do... Now is the time to focus on what these gifted players can do... Houston wills themselves to victory, but at time that will turns into a won't... Houston was/is better then their recent loss, I don't want to take anything away from the Philly, but you're kidding me! Ariza is no Jordan or Bird, accept that... Yao isn't playing this year, we get it... Let Houston play in units... Defense (Hayes, Scola, Dorsey, Taylor and Lowry)... Scoring (Anderson, Cook, Landry, Budinger & Brooks)... Let them find their way, go back to the staring line-up... It's not that Houston comes out flat, it's that they've been scouted and it takes time to change things up. I think that Houston has what it takes to get to the big dance, but this OLD SCHOOL play will only get a good seat at home to watch the NBA finals with New Jersey... A star isn't noticed for his position in the sky, it's noticed because it shines and people feel compelled to study it. The same can be said for the NBA. For all of the successes, all we imperfect humans tend to remember if the failures... The Colts can attest to this, because they prepared for the big game, but they didn't plan for playing to the end of the bench! Now that's something to think about...
  • thirdcoastborn
    He needs to be agressive every game. If he scores twenty we win, so he needs to take his shots. Are we going to make Mcgrady wait until right before the trade deadline to move him?
  • rahat_huq
    Garrett - Interesting thoughts. Thanks for reading.

    thirdcoast - agreed that he needs to continue chucking as he is our best option in that regard, other than landry. more aaron brooks shot attempts are fine by me - they directly mean trevor isn't shooting/touching the ball.
  • Stephen
    (Note:Writing this during beginning 4Q of Hou/Miami game.)

    Our impression of win/loss scoring disparity is prob due to 2 factors.
    1)Brooks scores more than 20 points far more often in wins than in losses. 27 wins,14 games with more than 20 points(@ 50%). 23 losses,7 games with more than 20 points(less than 33%).
    2) In back to back wins in Dec,Brooks had just 5 and 7 points,the last time to date he went below double digit scoring. Beyond the damage they did to his ppg in wins,one game saw Ariza go for 31 and the other saw Landry get 27,thus getting the attention.
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