It seems that every offseason, our favorite teams always treat us fans to lofty goals and expectation, and preparing with dreams of grandeur. Likewise, many in the Nets organization told to expect that Marshon Brooks will be a top Sixth Man of the Year Candidate and that Mirza Teletovic will provide stability at the Power Forward position. As the season wore on, it became blatantly obvious that these goals were not going to be met this season, if at all!
Although both Marshon and Mirza failed to live up to these expectations, they can still reach these expectations for this coming season...if they put it the work! To do so, both of them should seek advice from and train with two former NBA stars to target specific areas for refinement and improvement.
Training Regimen 1: Marshon Brooks and Dell Curry
If Marshon really wants to be a viable option off the bench for the Nets, he should train with someone who was one of the best Sixth Men all time. Dell Curry was one of the most consistent deep threats in the league and was a trusted source of instant offense for the Charlotte Hornets of the 1990s. And although he was never a great defender, he had great hands and learned to defend well enough to guard NBA players. To be the player Marshon wants to be, he needs to develop these characteristics.
The most obvious focus would be Marshon's shooting ability and hands. Although he can create shots, Marshon has shown he is not a consistent shooter from deep and he often turns the ball over with too much dribbling. Curry can improve Marshons shot from deep and help him cut down on the dribbling to become more of a spot up shooter. He can show him how to become a deadly player even without the ball in his hands.
Another area that can help Marshon is his mentality and effort. Mentality is a huge part to the game and instilling a good mentality will help Marshon tremendously. Coming off the bench and consistently performing is not an easy thing, but it can be more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge. Curry can work with Marshon to instill this mentality and make him more prepared when the coach calls him off the bench. Similarly, he can also work with Marshon to improve his defensive effort. Even though Curry was not a great defender, he learned quickly that he had to improve his sub-par defense in order to stay on the court. Marshon has shown he has not learned this yet, and has a lot of room to improve his defense.
Training Regimen 2: Mirza Teletovic and Dennis Rodman
Mirza has shown flashes of solid PF. His European resume has shown that he can shoot the outside shot, and he has shown flashes on an interior game and good offensive awareness. He is also an exciting player to watch and an easy player to root for. However, to be a starting power forward in this league, he needs to improve his defense tremendously, and he needs to show he can play big and rebound, even though he is a bit undersized. To improve these qualities, he should train with Dennis Rodman.
For a PF, Rodman was on the shorter end. At 6'7" and 210, he was not a towering or "big" player to say the least. But on a team with multiple options on the offensive end, he was a defensive stopper on the defensive end, earning him 8 NBA All Defensive team honors, 2 Defensive Player of the Year honors and leading the league in Rebounds per Game 7 times. Mirza is a bit taller at 6'9" and is larger at 256. Rodman can show him how to utilize his assets on the defensive end. Mirza has shown he has a willingness to learn the NBA game, often giving credit to Reggie Evans in post games when he plays well defensively. With a good basketball mentality, he should easy for Rodman to mold into a better defender and rebounder. Spreading the floor on the offense while defending and rebounding on the other will make the instant starting PF on this team.
If Mirza and Marshon are serious about improving for the upcoming season, I think they should consider giving these Old Timers a call and learn from them.