EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - MarShon Brooks never got to sniff the spectacle of the playoffs during his rookie campaign a season ago, given the Nets' 22-44 record and last-place finish in the Atlantic Division.
Two games into the Nets' Eastern Conference first-round playoff matchup with the Bulls, he's still not quite certain what that postseason scent actually smells like.
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Although Brooks has played in both games, his stint in the opener came when the outcome was clearly decided, and he got a quick hook after a brief 1:38 of fourth-quarter duty in Game 2 Monday. He's been mostly out of the rotation down the stretch of the season, biding his time until interim coach P.J. Carlesimo signals for him.
Carlesimo suggested yesterday he may expand his tightened rotation depending on certain matchups and Brooks would welcome the opportunity to contribute.
"If I get the chance, yeah, I feel like I can help a little bit," he said. "But the situation I'm in, I'm just going to wait my turn, and just try to wait patiently and be ready."
Battle of the bigs
One of the Nets' biggest challenges remains neutralizing Joakim Noah.
Even as he deals with plantar fasciitis and a tear in his right foot, the Bulls' center was extremely effective in Game 2. He came up with a big fourth quarter, scoring nine points (3-for-3 shooting) with six rebounds (three offensive) and a block in 7:39.
"First and foremost, he has energy, tenacity, and he never really stops playing," Brook Lopez said when asked for his impressions of what makes Noah a difficult opponent. "It's up to me to play with energy as well."