PORTLAND, Maine — The "hydropower" that Tremont Waters brings to the Red Claws wasn't operating at full strength in his first game since being named the G League's Player of the Month.
That kind of recognition puts a target on your back. And the Wisconsin Herd had to know that containing Waters would be key to their success heading into the game Thursday, December 5, at the Portland Expo.
The scoring see-sawed wildly between the two teams. Momentum was on the Herd's side to start the game as they jumped out to an early 19-point lead. A third quarter reversal of fortunes saw the Red Claws not only draw even but surge ahead by 10 points.
The Herd ultimately bounced back down the stretch to win, 123-118. Out of ten games so far this season, it is the first game the Red Claws have lost with Waters in the lineup.
Trey Davis was Maine's best weapon in the losing effort with 26 points. Yante Maten set up a lot of those scoring opportunities by ripping down 15 rebounds to go along with 13 points of his own.
The Herd held Waters to, by his standards, a relatively modest 13 points. But even in a reduced role, he still managed to chip in 10 assists to register a double-double.
Waters' scoring was well down from his usual average of 22 points per game. That pace was a big factor in his selection as Player of the Month for November. In his biggest outburst on Nov. 27, he scored 33 points to help the Red Claws set a single-game scoring record for the franchise with their 155-131 win over the Greensboro Swarm.
The Boston Celtics have also noticed Waters' accomplishments. As a two-way player, he can transition freely between the NBA and G League. The Celtics exercised that option and called him up to Boston for a single game against the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 25. He scored seven points in his NBA debut and earned a positive post-game review from head coach Brad Stevens.
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Waters' leadership extends off the court into the community. Along with teammate Tacko Fall, he joined a group of kids at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine in Portland for a swimming lesson on Nov. 22. By learning to tread water, Waters offered himself up as an example to teach the kids that new skills are worth the hard work that goes into them.
How rare is the work ethic that drives Waters to push himself so hard? He's the first Red Claw to be recognized by the G League as its Player of the Month since Jordan Mickey in 2015.