Brooks, a third-year guard, has appeared in nine games this season, playing only 61 total minutes. He's averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds over 6.8 minutes per game.
Acquired from Brooklyn as part of the summer blockbuster that sent out Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Brooks has played sparingly with Boston log-jammed at the shooting guard position. Even with Rajon Rondo rehabbing from ACL surgery and Jordan Crawford playing point guard, Brooks has seen only sporadic playing time with Boston leaning on Phil Pressey and Courtney Lee as the backup backcourt. Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace have eaten up most of the minutes at the swingman position.
The Nets drafted Brooks 25th overall out of Providence during the 2011 NBA draft after a trade with Boston. Brooks averaged 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 29.4 minutes per game in his rookie season, but has struggled to stay on the court ever since.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens has urged Brooks to remain patient, but with Rondo working toward a return, Boston's backcourt is about to get even more crowded. Brooks will be able to get increased game action, particularly with Maine set to embark on a game-heavy start to the month of January.
Before Tuesday's loss to the Hawks, while talking about Shelvin Mack's development, Stevens noted the potential benefits of the D-League.
"The D-League with the right attitude can [help players develop]," said Stevens. "Because, again, you talk to our guys in Maine about [Mack] and they loved him. When he went there, he didn’t act like that was not his level. He went there and tried to get better and improve. That’s what the great benefit of that is, and you see it being utilized more and more with a lot of guys that are first-round picks or second-round picks and I think that will just continue and, if guys go in with the right mindset and the right attitude about it, it can really jump-start their careers, and it has for Shelvin."
Brooks must take a similar approach. This is a chance to show what he can do without being limited to NBA trash time. Brooks might be able to re-establish some of his confidence in the D-League, all while trying to utilize everything that assistant coach Jay Larranaga has imparted on him during numerous post-practice workouts.
After Boston's off-day workout on Wednesday, Stevens said the trip north can aid Brooks.
"[The Red Claws] play a couple of games in a short amount of time; it’s a good opportunity to do that, and he’s going to get to play a lot, and a lot of minutes,” Stevens told reporters, according to MassLive.com. "Sometimes as you get into this, the opportunities to condition become less and less. So it will be good for him to kind of get that feel back. And he’ll be back soon, I’m sure. It’s just a matter of utilizing that NBA D-League opportunity that we have as well as we can."
Stevens suggested Brooks took a positive outlook to the news.
"He was very good about it and very professional," Stevens said, according to MassLive. "He wants to play. At the end of the day, you can play basketball. It’s part of the path right now and I think that’s not unique to us. You look across the league and a lot of teams sent guys down and back multiple times."