For MarShon Brooks, it's a confidence game

USA TODAY Sports

Marshon Brooks played 14 minutes vs. the Wizards and scored seven points, both highs this month. But he also had a couple of turnovers and missed assignments.

Saturday, the second night of a back-to-back, he fell out of the rotation at least for one game. He played only 3:37 and didn't score, rebound or assist. It has to be disappointing. The game was in Atlanta where he grew up and won a state championship in high school. It would have been a nice opportunity for the second year player, who looks like he's in desperate need of some opportunities.

In an interview with Nets Magazine on YES, a very serious Brooks admitted to having "confidence issues" early in the year, meaning under Avery Johnson. Johnson's lack of trust in Brooks was well-known. Now, he says under P.J. Carlesimo, "I've got a lot more confident. That's helped my game a lot."

Specifically, Brooks said that early in the season, he was trying to play "perfect basketball," adding, "If i get to thinking, that's when I usually make terrible turnovers. For me, its just playing with confidence, just trying to help the team any way possible." He spoke as well his lack of playing time, noting that "if you don't play, at around the six minute mark of the third quarter, you figure the night's over with

Here's a transcript of some of what he said in the profile aired on YES....

"Lately the game has been slowing down for me, just knowing the right reads, just knowing the defensive game plans from the other teams, really paying attention to details... that's been been my biggest focus this year. I think that's helped me a lot.

"Scoring you know is a gift... just being out there, just trying to be aggressive, just trying to attack, get in the lane. Not even just scoring just creating opportunities for myself or my teammates.Lately, i've been getting in the paint at a very efficient rate. So, I just try to get in the paint, make the right read, just see where the help is coming from and then If I get my shot, look for my shot first. if not, that's when I pass.

"Earlier on in the year, when I was having confidence issues, I was looking to pass first, then score. It got me in trouble, jumping in the air and making passes, just the little things.

"But as coach (P.J. Carlesimo) started showing more confidence in me, I've got a lot more confident. That's helped my game a lot.

"Early on in the season, it was real challenging. Any given time, I could be thrown into the fourth quarter of a tight game after not playing at all. That was real tough, but as it started happening more often, I started getting better at it, Just being ready mentally. That was the main thing for me.

"Actually, if you don't play, at around the six minute mark of the third quarter, you figure the night's over with, especially if your team is winning. but if the team is struggling to score, that's usually when my name is called. I just go out there and try to be aggressive, that's the main thing. I was thinking too much early in the year, trying to play perfect basketball and that's a tough thing to do. Basketball is a very fast game. So I just try to be decisive.

"If i get to thinking, that's when I usually make terrible turnovers. For me, it's just playing with confidence, just trying to help the team any way possible."

Also in the segment, which is not online, Brooks talked about playing with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, noting how the one thing they have in common is that they're "level headed but competitive," that "their confidence doesnt sway" if they have a good game or a bad game, "they're still the first one in the gym."

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