Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Andrew Wiggins and Jamal Murray have dominated the Canadian’s in the NBA headlines. Respectively and deservingly so, all three have shown tremendous improvements to their game — providing a level of consistency that their franchises can depend on a nightly basis.
With the official 41-game, half-way mark of the NBA season officially behind us, and with a large size vault of video and advanced statistical evidence — It’s now time to add Dillon Brooks’ name to the short list of Canadian’s delivering NBA win shares and optimism to Canada’s Olympic men’s basketball dreams.
The former 2017 PAC 12 player of the year is putting the finishing touches on his best month of his young NBA career, averaging 21.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists on 46.8% shooting and 46.9% from three-pointer, 85.4% from the free-throws.
The Memphis Grizzlies third-year shooting guard/small forward has been absolutely lights out this season and is a major force behind the Grizzlies’ surprising 24-24 record and current eight-seed (8) spot in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Overall, the Grizzlies’ boast an impressive 17-1 record when the Canadian from Mississauga, Ontario scores 20-plus points in a single-game and a mediocre 7-23 when he fails to reach the mark.
The Grizzlies’ are clearly benefiting from Brooks’ production with a 11-3 record in the month of January — including a seven (7) game winning stretch, registering wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets. Additionally, Memphis also got victories over both Wiggins’ Timberwolves’ and a Jamal Murray-less Denver Nuggets.
Efficiency is the name of the game and in just under three seasons Brooks’ has managed to become Canada’s all-time most efficient NBA three-point shooter with a healthy 37.8% career-mark — a list that only includes Canadian born players with over 500-plus three-point attempts and features names such as Kelly Olynyk (37.0%), Jamal Murray (35.6%), Nick Stauskas (35.3%) and Rick Fox (34.9%). Steve Nash was not included in this list as he was born in South Africa, put for comparisons and analytical purposes he tops all Canadian players with a 42.8% career accuracy mark from beyond the arc.
Unlike Gilgeous-Alexander, Wiggins and Murray who all left their NCAA basketball careers behind after just one season to the guarantee of a top-14 lottery NBA Draft selection — Brooks took the longer route to NBA stardom. For three years, the recently turned 24-year old honed his craft at the University of Oregon, improving his game each season leading the Ducks to their first Final Four appearance since they won their only title in 1939. Oregon came one-point short, losing a heart-breaking 77-76 national semi-final game to eventual 2017 champions North Carolina Tar Heels.
Along the basketball journey Dillon Brooks took home conference player of the year honors and was named a 2016-17 consensus second-team All-American and Wooden award finalist. Despite the evident improvement, accolades and big time games throughout his collegiate career, Brooks’ skill-set went nearly undetected by NBA scouting team radars.
The Houston Rockets selected the Canadian with the 45th pick overall, in the second-round of the 2017 NBA Draft before immediately trading Brooks to a struggling and rebuilding Grizzlies team that had just completed one their worse seasons in team history with a 22-60 record and ranked 29th out of 30 teams in points scored at 99.3 points per game.
Brooks averaged a respectable 11 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists per game during as a rookie — turning it up a notch in the last quarter of the season that concluded with a career-high 36 points on the last day. Slept on again, Brooks’ was snubbed from the NBA all-rookie team selections.
A big toe injury to his right foot limited Brooks to just 18 games during his second season and now in his first contract expiring year, the 6’7′ small forward has been as durable as they come. The former Father Henry Carr star is one of only 16 players to have played in all of his teams current games — starting all of the Grizzlies’ 47 games thus far — and playing nearly 28.2 minutes per contest.
The Grizzlies’ have retooled their roster, finally catching up with current NBA times and flourishing under the guidance of first-year head coach Taylor Jenkins. Memphis is giving opponents fitz, with a top ten scoring (113.3 PPG) offense that not only features the Canadian swingman, but requires Brooks’ to score on a nightly basis as part of their proven winning formula.
Credit has to be given to long-time Memphis General Manager Chris Wallace with their recent draft selections of Ja Morant (2019), fellow Canadian Brandon Clarke (2019) and Jared Jackson (2018). Add in the big time acquisition of long-time Toronto Raptors’ fan favorite Jonas Valančiūnas and the Grizzlies’ have a formidable, exciting and fast-paced young core that Wallace arguably started envisioning with the second-round trade for Dillon Brooks in 2017.
No stranger to the international FIBA game, Canadian basketball fans are also anticipating the return of Brooks to the national side. At 19 years-old, the shooting guard made his senior team debut at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto — scoring 11 points and grabbing 4 rebounds in a disappointing 86-71 championship game loss to Brazil. Previously, Brooks represented Canada and led both the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 and 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships squads in scoring with 25.2 and 18.8 points per game averages — good enough for first and second place in both tournaments.
Canada will attempt to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and end it’s 20 year men’s basketball drought via a last chance Olympic qualifier tournament right in their own backyard in Victoria, British, Columbia.
Brooks’ alongside, Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray and several others have officially announced their commitment to Canada’s Olympics aspirations.
As it currently stands, and if it all goes according to plan, 2020 could just be Brooks’ breakout NBA year — culminated by a potential big payday, an Olympics appearance, setting up the perfect stage for him to cement his legacy as one of Canada’s best basketball players.
Lakers cut Cousins for Hollywood Morris vs Morris twin brothers story
Pelican and Wildcat pack connected with Laker superstar Anthony Davis and veteran legend point Rajon Rondo, when the Lakers copped Sacramento Kings great DeMarcus Cousins this off-season it was meant to be their strongest Summer signing. Reuniting D.C. with A.D. after their N.O. year this was just a campaign after Cousins related to a Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors superteam that only last season, after the arrival of the big-man — fans around the league were calling not playing fair.
Because Boogie down low was the best center in the league, reminded us of an explosive TNT hybrid of Shaq and Chuck. But his post power productions have been crippled by injury even if he ill-advised but all heart tried to redemption return for his former Warriors’ team in the losing finals against the Raptors.
Now out of California again, even though he is no longer a Warrior, like K.D. you can always dub DeMarcus as one.
Meanwhile, whilst Lakers fans were celebrating Cousins arrival with caution once they knew he still needed time to recover, the Lakers brought back to bewilderment the infamous name of Dwight Howard. It looked laughable and ludicrous to bring back the former Mickey Mouse superstar even on a non-guaranteed contract. Especially when there were other former All Stars and future Hall of Famers on the market (Carmelo Cough Anthony).
It looked like chemistry cancer. But it was as natural as biology. And then so many rebounds, blocks, dunks, one contest and guaranteed contract later and the redemption reunion was set for a season that took everyone by surprise. The epic, emphatic energy Hollywood needed way back when flipped the script, as changing his legacy number 39 dunked all over the legend of 12 with his signature smile.
Just when the Lakers thought their dynamic Wilt and West, Magic and Kareem, Shaq and Kobe following dynamic duo of the beard and the brow of LeBron James and Anthony Davis had a big-three like Miami in DeMarcus Cousins, it actually turned out that the Lakers had a big-three Ghidora like post blocking and dunking monster of Davis, Dwight and of course all-time fan favourite, JaVale McGee. But still fans thought that once D.C. came back to Cali’s capital, another head would grow. But now the Lakers have cut it off like a broken leg in the Wild West wilderness this Winter.
The Lakers have waived DeMarcus Cousins before he ever played a single game or before he got the chance to show that he’s still got it like that. But trust he still will as another team will pick him up (if only it was the Lakers next season as DeMarcus talked about how much he liked this brotherhood 1 through 15 before sharing on Instagram his “tough times don’t last. Tough people do” tattoo following the cut). Forget a Howard’s end in redemption, there’s about to be a revenge reunion. Especially if a rival picks him up in these mind games.
Because the Lakers have just played one whilst hopefully not playing themselves. Cousins could have been that Rasheed Wallace like Pistons’ signing after the trade deadline that could have guaranteed them a chip (and do we remember who that Detroit Bad Boys reboot team beat in the finals that season? I will give you a clue. Even adding the Mailman and Glove of Karl Malone and Gary Payton wasn’t enough). Although rumour has it with him rehabbing at the Lakers facility for the rest of the year (this isn’t the first time the Lakes have made a classy move like this. See, Xavier Henry), after this sacrifice he may re-sign with the Lakers this Summer anyway. But now however the Lakers’ have brought in another former Piston to hopefully fuel their assembly line.
After missing out on ‘Melo and Andre Iguodala the Lakers didn’t want to make the same mistake for one of the best on the buyout, even if they have just added the realest to the free agent pool to get him. The hustle and heart of Markieff Morris is exactly the true grit this Hollywood team needs for the playoffs that they have been missing since they didn’t re-up Tyson Chandler.
Bolstering the Caruso and cook-ed up bench and backing-up and giving more three space for Kyle Kuzma. But what’s more like the dreads and headband, Spider-Man pointing match-up of Harkless and Jae Crowder, the Lakers now have a Morris vs Morris brother Hollywood story perfect for their script ending that should see the Battle for Los Angeles Western Conference Finals closing chapter with the Clippers that much more compelling.
Now the L.A. King one-two punches of James and Davis versus Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have more in reserve for Markieff and Marcus matching-up with twin ambition. And it’s going to make for some epic entertainment come playoff time that we can preview at the start of April for the California clash rescheduled after the tragic death of Kobe and GiGi Bryant. And what’s more Marcus says the brothers after playing together for years are going to live in the same house in Los Angeles. That should make for some awkward dinners after we see who is eating come June.
The Lakers have just gained another brother. But in this Fast and Furious league when it’s all about family, don’t forget about your cousins.
Wade In The Rafters. The Heat Rises To 3
How’s this for a Flashpoint in NBA history?
Tonight the Miami Heat gave us ‘The Flashback’. DeLorean riding back to the future of last season. Were Dwyane Wade rocking a red Heat hot bomber jacket that was all “Great Scott” Marty McFly had his number three jersey under all that retired, as the Heat rose his 3 to the rafters in a flash.
After ‘One Last Dance’ for Dwyane last season were he swapped jerseys like trading cards, Wade and his former coach and President Pat Riley watched his last jersey go up past the nosebleeds to the ceilings he smashed, arm in arm like a proud father watching a home video of his sons wedding on the highlights of the jumbotron.
The relationship is exactly like that. Built on a fatherly foundation.
Miami has had a matrimony with Wade from the Chicago towns own All Star start, championship run on his own and then post Bulls and King reunion return to redemption.
Some may say Shaq. 90’s purists Zo Mourning and Timmy Hardaway. Others the greatest of all-time LeBron James forming like voltron with another Heatle that’s about to have his jersey retired, Chris Bosh. But let’s face it when it comes to Miami Heat players and franchise faces, D-Wade is the G.O.A.T.
Legacy. Legacy. L3gacy.
This is the way of Wade. How its been and how it will always been up in the air of those American Airlines. A father first and always part of the Miami family when the South Beach welcomed him like Will Smith, this guy is for life like Bad Boys and the number 3 that Martin Lawrence’s Marcus has framed in his own living room rafter raise for the latest sequel.
What you gonna do?
This was a Florida city union like pink or turquoise neon, or the ’till death do us part loyalty of ‘Bad Boys II’ and ‘LA Finest’ spin-off star Gabrielle Union. The port of Miami Rick Ross rocked the mic and even King James sent a video tribute from his Californian Lakerland as fellow retired club legends Chris Bosh and Ray Allen were in awe attendance.
“Life is good” Wade said like Nas for this two hour special that seemed ready made for an ESPN documentary. 30 for 30 or 3 for 3.
3 in ’03 to infinity for his sweet 16. The sun will never go down on the legendary legacy of Miami’s adopted son.
And in a tragic start to 2020, like Chi guy Wade embracing an emotional Allen Iverson in a Kobe number 8 tribute throwback this moment was the answer to the pain from our prayers.
Now all that is left is one last step to the Hall.