Aaron Brooks making most of opportunity with Nuggets

Veteran guard is averaging 12.1 points in 24 games for Denver
by Aaron Lopez

As auditions go, Aaron Brooks is delivering a timely performance.

Stuck on the bench in Houston two months ago, Brooks has made the most of his opportunity with the Nuggets after agreeing to waive his no-trade clause to come to Denver on Feb. 20.

Coming off a 24-point, 15-assist, eight-rebound performance against the Rockets on Sunday, Brooks is averaging 12.1 points and 5.0 assists in 24 games with Denver. He averaged 7.0 points and 1.9 assists in 43 games with Houston.

“He’s been great,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said. “It’s allowed him to get on the floor and increase his market value as a player. In the short time he’s been here, he’s demonstrated he can still really play this game at a high level.”

Whether starting or coming off the bench, Brooks has shown his versatility as a shooter, a playmaker and pesky defender. He just wishes his play would have led to more team success.

While the Rockets are heading to the playoffs, the Nuggets will conclude their season on April 16.

“I also wanted to win. That’s most important,” Brooks said. “I wanted to play and help this team win games. That was my goal. We had some tough injuries. Maybe next year will be better.”

Brooks will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he has not ruled out returning to Denver.

The Nuggets have Ty Lawson entrenched as the starting point guard, while backup Nate Robinson is expected to return following a season-ending knee injury. Shaw prefers to have three point guards on the roster, so he would welcome the return of Brooks.

“Any place that has me, I’ll be happy,” Brooks said. “I like it here. It’s kind of jammed at the point guard spot, but I like it here. They have a good team coming back.”

In the meantime, Brooks is focusing on helping Denver get a few more wins, starting with Wednesday’s rematch against the Rockets.

Brooks will start his second straight game as Lawson remains out with a sprained left ankle.

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