I took this afternoon to pore over the footage of Derrick Brown’s Knicks career. I watched it backwards and forewards. I studied his every move like the Zapruder film. No subtle twitch went unnoticed. It took about ten minutes.
Nothing Brown did on the court gives a clear indicator of his future with the Knicks. He was one of the few that didn’t get an extended audition with the first team, and while he showed flashes of incredible athleticism in his cameos, I don’t think of any of us was really clamoring for more Derrick Brown. He arrived on the supposed recommendation of the departed Raymond Felton, and played essentially as advertised: athletic, energetic, well-kept facial hair, but ultimately pretty raw for a coaching staff and front office that may not have time to wait on a project. After all, searching “Derrick Brown” on ESPN brings you to a defensive tackle from the University of Buffalo.
Yet they may be well served to keep him around; Brown made some improvements this year that, coupled with a look back at his college numbers, may indicate a rotation player in the making. He turned the ball over far more often on a per minute basis, but his increases in rebounding and assists suggest he was being more assertive in general. He also shot a sterling 57% from the field – which is in line with his college numbers at Xavier – which tells me he was getting to the rack more effectively this year than last. Two other tendencies that stand out: a) although not supposedly a big part of his game, the 42% career college three-point shooter flashed some confidence from deep, ending up at 58% True Shooting, and b) much like his rookie year, he showed the ability to draw fouls, once again attempting more than half as many free throws as field goals.
Perhaps foremost in Brown’s favor, though, is that he was handpicked off the waiver wire by this staff. Unlike Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams, Brown is not a circumstantial throw-in brought here only by necessity. No, he’s more like Shawne Williams and Jared Jeffries: signed for a reason, either to play a role or because D’Antoni and Walsh see him as an undervalued commodity. This regime’s track record is not to sign players just to fill roster space; it’s more likely they see something in him that will earn him at least a camp invite.
And if he doesn’t pan out, he can always do things like this:
Whether to support the resigning of a borderline case like Brown can come down to the minutia, those little things on or off the court that make the man that much more fun to follow. Fortunately, in this regard Brown is among the best on the team; if you aren’t following him on Twitter, you’re missing daily life affirmations that would make me want to get out of the bed in the morning if I weren’t already up. Or something. Anyway, I don’t know if he has a wise old African-American grandmother living with him or what, but this Twitter account is special. Presenting now three of my favorite recent tweets from @d_brown4:
1) To steal ideas from one person is called plagiarism.But to steal ideas from many people is called research. #imjustsayin
2) A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. #imjustsaying
3) No disrespect. but ladies when you go with the natural look is it supposed to be fresh. havent seen it work too much