Apr 6, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard MarShon Brooks (9) looks to pass the ball against Charlotte Bobcats forward Bismack Biyombo (0) in the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Nets won 105-96. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports
From 2007 to 2012 it was Ray Allen. When Allen took his talents to South Beach, it was Jason Terry. With two of the league’s best sharpshooters all but a memory in Boston, the Celtics have a gaping hole at the unofficial and always coveted quick-scoring-wingman spot.
On Monday, the Boston Celtics formally introduced Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks (Gerald Wallace was excused for personal reasons) as the newest Boston Celtics after being acquired in the blockbuster deal that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets.
Bogans is ready to take on the role of locker room leader. Humphries told Celtics.com’s Marc D’Amico that it’s his job to clean the glass, and it is assumed that Gerald Wallace will be relied on to play lock down defense on anyone in front of him. MarShon Brooks, however, has a chance to do something bigger. He can fill a looming hole, specifically the one left by Jason Terry.
In 2011, MarShon Brooks was drafted by the Celtics and sent immediately to the Nets for JaJuan Johnson. Brooks went on the be named the the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, and Johnson went on to average 3.2 points in 8.3 minutes per game for Boston.
Brooks averaged 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in nearly 30 minutes of floor time a night for the Brooklyn Nets on his way to being named to an All-Rookie squad. His ability to score in isolation sets gave the Nets a quick and reliant scoring punch whenever they needed it, whether he was coming off the bench or starting as he did for most of the season.
His sophomore season stats aren’t nearly as promising. Most would call the 24 year old’s second season forgettable. He backed up Joe Johnson, and in his reserve role he averaged a meager 5.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game, while playing just 12.5 points per game.
A quick look at the huge drop in numbers says that he fell off. 5.4 points per night isn’t good enough to be considered a potential go to scorer, right?
While it seems that Brooks’ ability to score dwindled, looking at his production from the perspective of what he could do per 36 minutes tells a different story. In 2011, Brooks’ averages per 36 minutes played were 15.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists. All very solid numbers for a rookie wing man out of Providence College.
In his second season, the season that hurt Brooks stock as a formidable NBA scorer, his averages per 36 minutes were 15.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists. The same type of production with less floor time. Essentially, Brooks continued to be as effective when he was on the floor, and did it albeit having less time on the court to fall into the rhythm of the game.
Now, as to whether he can fill the void left in Boston by both Allen and Terry, the numbers speak for themselves, again. In 2011-2012, Ray Allen’s averages per 36 minutes on the court were 15.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Not too far off from what Brooks has done on the hardwood in his two seasons. Last season’s Celtics’ Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry’s numbers per 36 minutes were 13.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
With the role wide open and the Celtics rebounding from a fire sale of an off-season, Brooks is poised to continue to grow and produce as a scorer. Unlike last season, there is no one stopping Brooks from seeing floor time as a scoring threat. With an unselfish point guard in Rajon Rondo always looking to kick the ball out to his wingers for easy looks, there should be no reason to think that Brooks can’t fill the role left by the trade as he continues to develop as an NBA guard.