COMMENTARY | In their trade with the Brooklyn Nets, the Boston Celtics didn't acquire too much talent in return. They received plenty of value in the form of draft picks, but also had to take on some pricey veterans to make the numbers work. Although they could play a role on another team, Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace don't figure to be in Boston's long-term plans.
The one somewhat intriguing player Boston got in this deal is MarShon Brooks. He's certainly very raw, and everyone knew this when he was drafted out of Providence a few years ago. Maybe raw is a generous way of putting it, as we've still yet to see him try to play any sort of defense. Still, he can be pretty good offensively as a scoring guard in the right situation. Brooklyn clearly wasn't the right situation, as Brooks wasn't a significant part of last year's team.
Anyone who has watched the Celtics knows they could use some help on the offensive end. Part of this struggle is that former coach Doc Rivers preferred to play a slow, half-court offense, leading to low-scoring totals. And, of course, some of this is just a lack of offensive fire power. Regardless of who the coach is, however, there will probably be scoring issues when you start Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley together. Although they can be dynamic defensively, there are issues on the other end of the floor.
This is where MarShon Brooks could come into the equation. His scoring ability will come in handy alongside Rondo, particularly with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce no longer in the equation. Although many have assumed that Brad Stevens will start Rondo and Bradley, should Brooks be the starting shooting guard?
Early in the year, this is a definite possibility. Nobody seems to know exactly when Rondo will return, creating a temporary starting spot. There's a logjam at guard, although no one seems to stand out amongst Bradley, Courtney Lee, Keith Bogans, and Jordan Crawford.
If paired with Rondo and other capable defenders such as Jeff Green, Brooks can be hidden a bit on the defensive end. His shot-making ability is something the Celtics will desperately need, and he could be a nice fixture in the starting lineup as someone who can create a little bit of floor spacing. If this were to happen, Bradley would be able to spell both Rondo and Brooks coming off the bench. Depending on match ups, Stevens could even play around with lineup combinations featuring all three guards.
By no means is there an expectation for Brooks to become an efficient scorer right away. The fact of the matter is someone on this team needs to take and make some shots, right? With Rondo setting him up in decent spots, is it unrealistic to believe he could score 15 or 16 points per game? Sure, his shooting percentage probably won't even be as high as 45%. This will be a year for the Boston players to grow and work out the problems in their game. Why not start Brooks and see if he can become a useful scorer? If it doesn't work out, that's fine. Trade him, cut him, do whatever. But give him an opportunity and at least find out what you have.
On a young, rebuilding team, a scorer like MarShon Brooks will certainly get a chance at some point. To create some sort of offensive threat with a potentially unthreatening Boston squad, Brad Stevens should strongly consider giving Brooks a shot as a starter.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
- Sports & Recreation
- Boston Celtics
- MarShon Brooks
- Keith Bogans
- Brad Stevens
- Rajon Rondo