This summer the Houston Rockets identified a clear need to get better defensively after being one of the worst defensive teams in the last several seasons. The Rockets added Dillon Brooks from the Memphis Grizzlies, who is easily one of the better defensive wings in the league.
In Brooks, the Rockets also added toughness and a veteran presence, which they also needed as a young organization. Brooks, of course, comes with baggage, as he became one of the league's premier villains based on reputation.
Brooks has developed a penchant for targeting opponents below the belt on defense, as he's been willing to do whatever he's deemed necessary to secure any semblance of a mental advantage. This has gotten Brooks in trouble on multiple occasions, as it's led to flagrant fouls, ejections, technical fouls, and suspensions.
Dillon Brooks learns valuable lesson in Rockets' preseason opener
The 27-year-old forward had another one of those moments in Tuesday's preseason opener against the Indiana Pacers, as he appeared to make contact with the lower region of Daniel Theis, which drew a flagrant two foul and an instant ejection.
Although Brooks was clearly fighting through a screen, he's earned the reputation of a dirty player, based, in large part, on prior acts. Brooks, Draymond Green, and Patrick Beverley are three players that will not get away with anything borderline or even closely perceived as dirty.
If Brooks didn't learn by now, he surely found out on Tuesday. He can't put himself in that situation, regardless of the intent.
And although some plays are incidental, like the one that resulted in an ejection on Tuesday, he'll have to be extra cautious and careful to avoid any such situation. The Rockets brought him in to be a culture setter of sorts and an example on the defensive end and he can't offer that if ejected, or even suspended.