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Dillon Brooks Is Due For A Resurgence. Here’s Why It Will Happen.

Dillon Brooks Houston Rockets Resurgence

HOUSTON — With the Houston Rockets sealing a 4-year, $86 million deal with Dillon Brooks last month, the NBA basketball community continues to make fun of his recent on the court antics.


Brooks’ recent statistics don’t make for an inspiring read, especially his lackluster display in the 2022-2023 NBA season and the 2023 playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite this, there’s a palpable air of anticipation for Brooks in Houston for the coming season.

Brooks’ reputation has taken quite a hit recently. In round one of the NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers, he dared to trash talk the king of NBA, LeBron James, saying “I don’t care. He’s old. I poke bears. I don’t respect someone until he gives me 40,” declaring the all-time scoring leader as past his prime. However, in the subsequent matches, the King easily outperformed Brooks, making his bold claims appear empty and audacious.

The seven seeded Lakers eventually sent the two seeded Memphis Grizzlies along with Dillon Brooks home in six games, completing a seven seeded upset. Such episodes have made the former Canadian prospect a subject of ridicule across various arenas, with many anticipating a chorus of boos awaiting him in the forthcoming games.

Yet, the story isn’t all bleak. Delve a little deeper into Brooks’ profile, and one can find reasons to be optimistic.

Brooks’ Primetime Arrival

Brooks made his name on the court when facing the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 Western Conference Semifinals. Many still remember the questionable “dirty” play he made when attempting a chase down block against Gary Payton II. This play eventually left GP2 on the floor with a fractured elbow, resulting in a flagrant 2 for Brooks, ejecting him from the game.

Call it dirty or not, this increased the Grizzlies’ chances of taking down Golden State. They arguably could have beaten them had their star in Ja Morant stayed healthy.

The Defensive Powerhouse

In the following season 2022-2023 season, Dillon Brooks posted a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 9.4, trailing his career-best of 15.5 back in 2021-2022 by six points. His selection to the All-Defensive team in 2023 was largely credited to his defensive win shares, an impressive 2.4, marking an increase of 1.5 from the 2021-2022 season.

Interestingly, his negative 0.5 Defensive Plus-Minus is seen as an asset, potentially aiding the Rockets’ defensive struggles from the prior year. If Brooks can regain his offensive form from 2021-2022, where he averaged 18.4 points on 42% shooting, he would certainly mitigate any offensive liabilities he displayed last season on the court.

The Udoka and Sullivan Effect

Another major cause for excitement is the recent addition of Ime Udoka as the Rockets’ head coach. Udoka, fresh from his transformative stint with Grant Williams of the Boston Celtics, has a knack for squeezing the best out of his players. If Udoka’s magic works on Brooks as it did with Williams, Rockets fans might be in for an unexpected surprise.

Udoka is not the only coaching ace up the Rockets’ sleeve. Ben Sullivan, renowned for his masterstroke with Derrick White’s shooting prowess, has also been drafted into the team’s coaching system. White’s three-point shooting skyrocketed under Sullivan’s guidance, and with Brooks demonstrating similar, if not more potential, it’s entirely plausible that Sullivan could craft another success story.

FIBA World Cup: A Lesson in Humility and Growth

While Brooks’ recent FIBA World Cup exhibition performance for Canada might have proved his doubters, it offers invaluable insights into his game. Brooks’ struggles while facilitating the game, highlighted by his exhibition stats (3 points, 5 turnovers), are evident. However, these are mere blips in an otherwise competent profile. His prowess shines when he is put in the lane, navigating high screen and rolls, or positioning himself for catch-and-shoot threes.

Such experiences, though humbling, are necessary stepping stones. As the saying goes, “adversity breeds excellence.” Given the right guidance and mindset, Brooks can transform these setbacks into lessons, bettering his game in the process.

Only time will tell. The FIBA games start August 25th, with Canada facing France in the first game.

Fast Breaks and Defense: The Brooks Signature

Talk about Brooks’ strengths, and one can’t ignore his efficiency during fast breaks. His towering height allows him an eagle-eye view of the court, enabling him to effortlessly spot wing players gearing up for shots or making rapid cuts. This particular skill, combined with his laudable chase-down block talents — executed often without conceding fouls — make him a formidable player, ready to thrive under Udoka’s structured system.

Rockets Fans: An Appeal for Patience and Hope

Despite the overwhelming cynicism surrounding Brooks, Rockets fans have many reasons to remain hopeful. Basketball, like any sport, is as much about resilience and comeback as it is about maintaining a consistent performance. Combined with a stellar coaching team, Brooks is certainly poised for a comeback.

Yes, there will be boos. The shadow of his confrontation with LeBron James and the subsequent performance drop will follow him into many an arena. But it’s essential to remember that the journey of a player is filled with highs and lows. Brooks’ recent descent might be a precursor to an impending ascent, and Rockets fans should be at the forefront, cheering him on.

In sum, while the majority world views Brooks as a laughing stock, the Rockets’ management sees potential. With the combined expertise of Udoka and Sullivan, Brooks has a golden opportunity to redefine his legacy, not just for himself but for the Houston Rockets as well.

Along with him, the moves of signing Fred VanVleet, Jeff Green, and Jock Landale further prove the point that Houston is finally ready to contend after three years of disappointment.

Brooks’ upcoming season promises excitement, tenacity, hope, and possibly, redemption.

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