MarShon Brooks has been on assignment in Maine for three games now and on Sunday night against the Tulsa 66ers, he had his best performance to date.
It's certainly what the Red Claws needed since they were missing both Chris Babb (shoulder) and Frank Gaines (hamstring) due to injuries. Brooks knew that he had to be aggressive and he was just that in the first quarter, when he scored 10 of the Red Claws' opening 22 points, all off of a series of cool, calm and collected drives to the basket. He continued his hot shooting in the second, pouring in another nine points, which gave him a total of 19 heading into half-time on 9-for-15 shooting from the floor.
While Brooks wasn't quite as efficient in the second-half - he knocked down just five of the 13 field goals he attempted - he still put up some big scoring numbers and he wrapped up his night with a game-high 36 points on 14-for-28 shooting, as well as a gaudy stat-line of six rebounds, five assists, five steals and three blocks.
Unfortunately for the Red Claws, Brooks' best effort wasn't enough and they lost by a final score of 100-93, putting them one game under .500. Four-year NBA veteran Reggie Williams led the way for the 66ers with a season-high 30 points.
The biggest knock on Brooks' game over his first three years as a pro is that he is a liability on the defensive end. While that certainly isn't a problem that is going to be solved in a handful of games with the Red Claws, it's good to see that the effort is there. Sure, blocks and steals aren't always a good indicator of sound defense, but, as you'll see in the video below, Brooks was rotating well and hustling, which is promising. As for his scoring, well, he's averaging 29.0 points per game on 49.3 percent shooting from the floor and 42.9 percent of his threes. In other words, he lived up to the hype.
Under the speculation that this may be his last D-League game - at least for now - Brooks said yesterday that he had a great time with the Red Claws and this assignment is exactly what he needed as it helped him become a better overall player. And now that Courtney Lee has been shipped out of Boston, the Celtics are left with just two shooting guards: Courtney Lee and MarShon Brooks. Will MarShon now get the chance that he's been waiting for all season? Who knows. But after an impressive stint in Maine, you've got to like his chances.