Dillon Brooks, who named himself “Dillon the Villain,” admits that he slaps rival players’ hands when they shoot. While it is a legal play, it allows the forward to play mind games on the player he’s guarding.
Dillon Brooks Tries To Get In Your Head
Mind games are an essential aspect of basketball. If a player has a weak mentality, they’re liable to specific plays thought of by other teams.
In an interview with The Athletic, Brooks talks about getting into other players’ heads. Anytime he tries to contest a shot, he “high fives” them after the ball is let loose.
This can create an imbalance in their rhythm while pushing doubts into their mind whenever the Houston Rockets forward guards them.
“I feel like everyone in the league knows I slap people’s hands on jump shots after the ball’s released. So it puts a thought in their mind that when I close out, you’re not getting a free shot. When they work out, they’re so used to following through. But when I close out, I like to mix in different things like that.”Dillon Brooks
However, other statistics websites, like StatMuse, put the Rockets just below the Thunder by a spot, making them the sixth-best defensive team.
Meanwhile, Lineups puts them fourth over the Thunder’s ninth spot.
Brooks’ Strategy Resembles Shane Battier’s Defense
Coincidentally, a former Rockets player used a similar technique to throw players off with their shots. Specifically, Shane Battier always tried to put his hand in front of Kobe Bryant’s face when he tried to make a shot.
This achieves the same mental game that Brooks is trying. Not only does it block their vision, but it also gets into their head anytime they see Battier running up to them.
He details it further in a video on the NBA on ESPN‘s YouTube channel. His literal hand in the face of players threw off a lot of shots, one of those being Bryant’s.
Do you think Brooks will achieve the same success his predecessor did?