Brooks Has Great Opportunity With Maine
WALTHAM, Mass. – The Boston Celtics announced Wednesday afternoon that they have assigned guard MarShon Brooks to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. While many on the outside will view Brooks’ assignment as a demotion, the Celtics are viewing it as a great opportunity for the third-year guard.
“We’re doing it as a very proactive thing and we believe in him and we think that he has a bright future,” Brad Stevens said on Wednesday, noting that he doesn't expect the assignment to last for very long. “Right now we just think that over the next however long, it’s a positive thing for him.”
Most of the reasoning behind the assignment is to get Brooks some legitimate game action. Brooks has appeared in just nine games this season for a total of 61 minutes. On top of that, the Celtics aren’t going to be able to practice much, if at all, over the course of the next 11 days. Playing for the Red Claws will give Brooks an opportunity to condition his body rather than watch games from the bench.
“He’s going to get to play a lot of minutes,” Stevens said. “Sometimes when you get into this (NBA schedule), the opportunities to condition become less and less, so it will be good for him to kind of get that feel back.”
The Celtics also believe this assignment will give Brooks a mental boost.
“I think confidence is a big part of it, but MarShon is a confident kid who has played some really good minutes in the NBA,” Stevens said. “But I don’t think it ever hurts to play and play well.”
Jeff Green believes that Brooks will do just that.
“He hasn’t had a chance to really get a groove playing, so it’ll be good for him to get a good rhythm and when he comes back he’ll be ready to play,” Green said.
Though Stevens said Brooks is unlikely to be playing with Maine for very long, the Celtics plan to keep a very close eye on him while he’s with the Red Claws. They have already been in contact with Maine’s coaching staff regarding what they’d like Brooks to improve on while he’s down there.
“I talked to the D-League guys, (Red Claws head coach) Mike Taylor and his staff, about some of the things we’re looking for out of him when we’re evaluating whether he’s playing or not,” Stevens said. “It’s at both ends of the floor.”
For a guy who has started 47 of his 138 career NBA games, being assigned to the Development League must have been a tough pill to swallow. Brooks, however, took the assignment in stride and recognized it as a positive rather than a negative.
“He was very good about it and very professional,” Stevens said. “He wants to play, so at the end of the day, you’re playing basketball.”
That’s something he hasn’t been able to do very often this season with the Celtics. Brooks may be leaving his teammates for a short time, but it’s for a good reason. This is a great opportunity for him to better himself while finally playing the game that he loves.