Brad Stevens Needs to Give MarShon Brooks Some Minutes

By Jon Shames
MarShon Brooks
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, it’s almost laughable to think that MarShon Brooks was thought to be the most valuable asset acquired by the Boston Celtics in the summer’s blockbuster deal with the Brooklyn Nets.

Five months removed from the trade, that is far from the case. Brooks has barely been utilized by head coach Brad Stevens, and has only logged 61 total minutes this season through the nine games in which he has appeared. The former Providence star recently spent five games with the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s D-League Affiliate, and averaged 27.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals in 35 minutes per game.

The Celtics recalled Brooks earlier today, which may mean that Stevens is ready to give him increased playing time in the upcoming games. Hopefully, that is the case; the C’s could certainly use some assistance in his area of expertise, after all.

Elaborating on that… Boston has now dropped six games in a row, good for its longest losing streak of the season. During that stretch, it has only averaged 94.0 points per game, a mark that (for the whole season) would be good for 27th in the NBA. Its defense has been much worse than its offense, mind you (106.6 points allowed), but even the league’s stingiest stoppers have trouble slowing down the opponents the Celtics have had to face as of late.

The reality is that the C’s will need to improve on at least one end of the floor if they want to start winning games soon, and as it seems nearly impossible to stop the offensive barrage from the likes of the Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, that improvement is most likely going to need to come offensively. Enter MarShon Brooks.

If nothing else, Brooks is a scorer. He has the ability to create his own shot off the dribble or from the post. While his three-pointer isn’t reliable by any means, when he gets it going offensively, he becomes a threat to spot-up from deep.

In his rookie season as the Nets’ starting shooting guard, Brooks averaged 12.6 points per game while shooting a hair under 43 percent from the field, both very respectable numbers for a first-year player. He saw a significant cut in his minutes last season when Joe Johnson was acquired by Brooklyn, but still managed to put up over five points in just 12.5 minutes a night.

If your team needs some firepower, he’s your guy. Right now, the Celtics need a dosage of just that.

MarShon was plunged into the basement of the Celtics’ depth chart in the beginning of the season and hasn’t been able to escape since. But, now that Courtney Lee is playing for the Memphis Grizzlies, Brooks finally has a chance to get in some major minutes and can attempt to get into an offensive rhythm.

The Celtics’ biggest scoring threats have been having a tough time recently, most notably Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger. Both have looked scary-bad as of late. The acquisition of Jerryd Bayless adds an extra scorer off the bench, but he can hardly shoulder the load alone.

Now that Lee is no longer in town, the C’s second-string shooting guard is Keith Bogans. Brooks is an unquestionable upgrade over the veteran, and still has plenty of room for improvement. He has looked less than stellar in his playing time this season, and has had trouble taking care of the ball, but with more playing time he should be able to work out the kinks and do what he does best: put the ball in the bucket.

Although MarShon certainly has his shortcomings on the defensive end, his sheer offensive capacity should be enough to warrant him a spot in the C’s lineup. The Celtics might have found themselves a diamond in the rough with Brooks, and it would be a shame to see all of that potential go to waste.

Jon Shames is a Boston Celtics writer for You can follow him on Twitter @jonshamesNBA and add him on Google.

If Brooks can become a spark plug for this team than the Celtics might find themselves making a late season push. Don’t miss the chance to see this young player develop into a starter and get your Celtics tickets here.

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