Celtics send Brooks to D-League's Red Claws

Celtics send Brooks to D-League's Red Claws
January 1, 2014, 1:30 pm
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MarShon Brooks scored 27 points in his first game for the Maine Red Claws.

(AP Photo)

BOSTON — A Boston Celtics guard is on his way to the team's Development League affiliate in Maine ... and no, it's not Rajon Rondo.

MarShon Brooks, a third-year guard who has been used sparingly all season, was assigned to the Maine Red Claws on Wednesday.

Brooks has appeared in nine games this season for the Celtics, averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per game.

While it is somewhat unusual for players to be sent to the D-League after having had two-plus seasons in the NBA, the move seems like the right one under current circumstances.

When training camp arrived, Brooks was among a clustered group of guards who were all vying for minutes.

In time, Brooks steadily fell further and further behind the pack to the point where he was easily the most seldom-used player on the roster.

Jordan Crawford emerged as the starting point guard. Courtney Lee has bounced back from a weak 2012-2013 to become a consistent contributor off the bench. Even rookie Phil Pressey has played his way into being a meaningful participant despite having the least amount of experience of any of the team's guards.

For Brooks, this move has to be about more than just getting a chance to play. He has to regain his confidence, the swagger that made him one of the most prolific scorers coming into the NBA in 2011 out of nearby Providence College.

"I think he's got a world of talent," Comcast SportsNet basketball analyst and Celtics Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn, told CSNNE.com.

But whether that talent will materialize in Boston remains to be seen.

Despite limited playing time, he has shown glimpses of being the high impact scorer Boston was hoping they would get when they acquired him as part of the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade with Brooklyn this past summer.

Like most players, consistency is an issue.

But more so with Brooks who appeared far too often to be thinking about what he wanted to do on the floor, rather than just playing the game.

"He plays his best off of his instincts," said one Eastern Conference scout. "You could tell he's out there trying to do what he thinks the coaches want him to do, rather than just being MarShon. You see a lot of young guys do that when they go to new teams and don't play right away. Still, the kid can score. But can he do the other things like pass and defend, to make your team better? Those are the big questions still out there about his play."

And a stint in the D-League may be his best shot at answering them.