The Memphis Grizzlies Finally Found Their Sixth Man in MarShon Brooks

Memphis Grizzlies MarShon Brooks (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Memphis Grizzlies MarShon Brooks (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

One year ago Memphis Grizzlies guard MarShon Brooks was playing basketball in the Chinese league, today he is showing Memphis he can be their sixth man.

Memphis Grizzlies guard MarShon Brooks will be the first one to tell you he didn’t mind playing in China, but is happy to be back in the NBA. He knows where he is supposed to be, and know what his skill set can bring an NBA franchise. He also heard the noise throughout this offseason from fans that though his game couldn’t fit with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol healthy, and he is proving all of you wrong.

First question of media day to Brooks was something like “one year ago you’re preparing for a season in China, today you’re preparing for a full NBA season, how does it feel?” MarShon shut that entire thought down from everyone. Brooks talked about his success in China, and how he was not worried about the competition at the two guard spot, and how he wasn’t going to play this preseason like his job was on the line.

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Confidence in his craft, but a humble confidence. Not many NBA players have that fine line of confidence in themselves and being a team player, but Brooks will be that for Memphis this season. I mentioned how Chandler Parsons could be the Grizzlies anchor off the bench, but I was mistaken. Not disrespect to Parsons (who will be starting at forward), but Brooks is going to be the Grizzlies sixth man.

Brooks stepped out on the floor against the Atlanta Hawks Friday night after missing Tuesdays game due to illness, and it didn’t look like he skipped a beat from last season. Brooks is know for getting buckets, but another one of his skill is beating his defender to the rim and making the defense collapse. When the defense collapses, Brooks hits his teammate on the wing for a wide open three, or he finds the better shot.

“J.B (Bickerstaff) put the ball in my hands and told me to go make plays, and that is what I did” Brooks said after his 18 point outing where he didn’t miss a shot on seven attempts from the field.

Memphis has been in search of a guy that can lead a bench unit for several seasons. Outside of 39 year old (at the time) Vince Carter, Memphis hasn’t found that guy until now. With the departure of Tyreke Evans this offseason, who was supposed to play that role for Memphis before injuries last season, Brooks is playing that role about the same if not better.

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MarShon will be the Grizzlies X-Factor this season in close games. A bench unit that looked helpless Tuesday night against the Rockets, looked rejuvenated with Brooks playmaking in Friday nights win over the Hawks.