Former Knick Shane Larkin Emerging in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Nets are not a very good team thus far in the season with a record of 2-9. They have a roster filled with new and exciting young players whom, because of the team’s lack of success, have been able to get minutes early in the season as Coach Lionel Hollins jumbles his lineups.

Of the young players receiving a respectable amount of minutes, Shane Larkin stands out among them. The point guard has proven to be an energetic pairing with Bojan Bogdanovic off the bench.

The third-year guard out of Miami is solidifying his role with his sharp play in the past week, making 53% of his shots which includes connecting on a ludicrous nine of his last 11 from outside the arc. Larkin’s two highest-scoring games were the only two games the Nets have won this season.

Following the first few games of the season it became apparent that the Nets’ lack of three-point shooting and bench production was a major issue. With most of Brooklyn’s bench ice cold to start the season, Larkin is molding himself into a trusted member of the team’s second unit.

The son of recent Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Barry Larkin, development has been a slower process as many doubted his likelihood to succeed at the NBA level. He averaged 24 minutes per game with the New York Knicks last season, where he started 22 games, and shot 43% from the field and just 30% from outside the arc.

However unsustainable, Larkin has compiled a laughably successful 47% from the field and nearly 53% from deep so far this season. The season is young but this proves that if he is given the keys to run the offense in the second unit that he can put up numbers. Those numbers aren’t exclusively on the offensive side of the ball either.

Defense is the trade in which Larkin has proven to excel in so far in his short career. With the Knicks he collected three or more steals nine times last season despite only starting 22 games. If given starting minutes Larkin could find himself among the league leaders in steals. Larkin has continued to thrive on the defensive side of the ball with Brooklyn as he has eight steals in his last five games.

At just 23 years old it is important to stress just how young Larkin still is. With current starting point guard Jarrett Jack likely not being a part of the future as he leads the team in a rebuilding era, seeing Larkin continue to improve in the next two seasons could make the Nets reconsider focusing on drafting a point guard in the 2017 NBA Draft. Of course his passing ability is the most obvious hole in his game and becoming the Nets starting point guard of the future remains unlikely. But it doesn’t hurt for the Nets to use it to fuel his success.

The season is still young but it seems like the Nets have struck gold among the Knicks garbage.