But in his second season with the Nets, Brooks saw his minutes dwindle down by more than half their previous average, when Billy King acquired Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks and instead of being heralded as a gifted scorer, many instead chose to hone in on his deficiencies on the defensive end.
After that, the young guard was involved in the somewhat-blockbuster trade that brought Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn. Since, Brooks has failed to truly crack Boston's rotation, (having appeared in just nine games and totalling 61 minutes with the Celtics in 2013), and now finds himself in the D-League, having to prove himself all over again.
It's unlikely that Brooks will be with the Red Claws for very long because he's only on assignment to work on his conditioning, per head coach Brad Stevens. But more so than that, he doesn't belong there skill-wise, as he displayed during his debut on Thursday night.
While it came against the now 2-13 Tulsa 66ers, Brooks showed off all the aspects of his offensive game that we fell in love with during his rookie season; his cool composure, the herky-jerky moves and that smooth, effortless jumper he's developed over the years. It was refreshing to know that, despite falling out of the rotation and playing spot minutes over the last two seasons, he still has the confidence and ability to light up the scoreboard, which proved to be just what the Red Claws needed, as they defeated the 66ers by nine points.
Brooks finished with a game-high 27 points on 9-for-18 shooting from the floor. He also grabbed four rebounds and dished out three assists in the 31 minutes he played. The bulk of his scoring came in the third quarter, when he scored 12 of the Red Claws' 36 points, which helped blow the game out of the water.
According to The Boston Globe, Brooks was professional when told that he was heading for the D-League, and last night, he sure looked like a man driven to showcase what he's capable of again. It's a great opportunity for him to build up his confidence and prove what he can do for the Celtics. Hopefully that's good enough for him to get more minutes in the NBA.
The Red Claws' next game is Saturday, January 4th at home against the Springfield Armor. As it stands right now, Brooks will play and chances are, we'll see another big game from him in the scoring column.
Take a look below for some of the highlights from the 24 year old's minor league debut.