During the Houston Rockets upset of Los Angeles Lakers in game one of their second round series, a friend of mine asked a question regarding who was that small-guard blowing past the Lakers. I got to tell him that was point guard Aaron Brooks.
Brooks was an undersized point guard coming out of the college with the Oregon Ducks or at least what scouts thought when he was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 26th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Honestly with names such as Jason Smith, Javaris Crittenton, and Jared Dudley going in front of him, it appeared that Brooks would be another solid college player who would never amount to anything in the NBA.
Then a funny thing happened, Brooks in his rookie year was a solid producer off the bench and with the trade of former point guard Rafer Alston to Orlando, Brooks was given the chance to start for the Rockets in his second season as a pro.
Brooks has never looked back since that day, during the regular season he averaged 14.0 ppg and 4.5 apg as a starter. Over the Rockets recent playoff-run his current averages are 15.9 ppg, 4.0 apg, and 2.7 rpg, Brooks does not appear to be letting up any time soon.
One thing it looks like that the scouts might have overlooked about Brooks was that his lack of size was a hindrance but he get past that deficiency based on his pure speed to get to the basket. Brooks ball-handling and court-vision is important for a Rockets team that has the towering Yao Ming and head-case turned headliner Ron Artest. Brooks will also need to step into the third scoring option if the Rockets are to move onto the Western Conference Finals.
After the Rockets game one win, head coach Rick Adelman in a post-game press conference stated that, “I got give Aaron Brooks a lot of credit. He came in and I told him at the beginning of the 3rd quarter (first time-out) that he has got to be more aggressive. He has make things happens for us, attack them and he did that.”
Aaron Brooks might not be the biggest name in the Lakers-Rockets series or be the tallest player. In the end, Aaron Brooks size might be his greatest asset.