The Houston Rockets received quite a bit of backlash this summer when they signed Dillon Brooks in free agency, especially after fans discovered that Brooks' $86 million contract is fully guaranteed and void of any team option or player option. The Memphis Grizzlies parted ways with Brooks in a rather unceremonious fashion, as he was largely blamed for the Grizzlies' inability to reach any semblance of postseason success.
Many wondered whether Brooks would carry that high level of play over into the 2023-24 season and....well, he's silenced the naysayers thus far. And especially if they were watching Wednesday's game against the Charlotte Hornets, as Brooks was stellar on both ends of the floor, leading the Rockets to a 128-119 victory- their first win of the season.
Dillon Brooks' play against Hornets shows exactly why Rockets took a chance
The 27-year-old had 20 points on 7-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-3 from long-range. The 3-point shooting has been video game-esque on the year, as Brooks was shooting 53.8 percent from long-range in the three games prior to the match against Charlotte.
Brooks came out hot in the third quarter when the game was tight and drilled two threes without any hesitation to give the Rockets a 12-point lead.
Brooks especially left his mark on the defensive end, as he nabbed a career-best five steals and provided elite defense throughout the game. Brooks was deflecting passes, diving after loose balls, and playing to his reputation as a gnat for opposing teams.
Brooks has also provided veteran leadership to a fairly younger Rockets team and explained the need for attention to detail during practice, as a way of fixing the Rockets' lack of energy early in games.
"It starts in practice. Attention to detail. Stuff like that. Each mess up can't just be a revolving door.
Somehow, some way we've gotta be more disciplined on that defensive end. And somehow creating that energy."
It's safe to say that Brooks is living up to his contract thus far.