Celtics' MarShon Brooks Gets His Chance to Shine with Red Claws

It was just two and a half years ago that MarShon Brooks was quickly rising up NBA Draft boards as pundits began comparing him to none other than a poor man’s Kobe Bryant. He still had the look of an up-and-coming elite scorer while posting 12.6 points per game as a rookie for the Nets in 2011-12. But the 6-5 guard’s career has since leveled out -- he fell out of the Nets’ rotation last season, was traded to the Celtics as part of the package for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce during the offseason, and has yet to earn significant minutes under Brad Stevens.

Brooks’ assignment to the Maine Red Claws (read more here) will give him a chance to rediscover the mojo that made him nearly unstoppable at nearby Providence, where he ranked second in the nation in scoring (24.6 ppg) as a senior. He’s a player that can get rolling if given the touches and the confidence, so a stint as a go-to guy in the NBA D-League will provide him with the ideal scenario. The scouting report on Brooks remains the same -- he combines freakishly long arms (7-1 wing span) with elite athleticism, and can both get to the rim with a quick first step and pull up for high-degree-of-difficulty shots off the dribble -- and it should be a treat to see his talents on full display once again.

What the 24-year-old needs to refine are the other areas of his game. For as long as his stint with the Red Claws lasts (and it could be as brief as Maine’s three games on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday), watch his shot selection, his defense and his floor game. And while his counting numbers will surely be robust, look at how efficiently he scores, where he gets his buckets and his assist-to-turnover ratio. As shown in the shot charts from his first two seasons (2011-12 left, 2012-13 right), he’s another player who could take his game to another level by finding consistency from deep and cutting down on those tempting mid-range field-goal attempts.