A Tale of Two Dillons: Which Will Show Up in Orlando?


“It was the best of times…it was the worst of times”

Wait a minute, was Charles Dickens a time traveler who came to the future and saw a glimpse of a young two guard signing a team-friendly extension in the year 2020?

Faithful Grizz Lead Reader: Is he really about to go all old school literature on us?

Me: YEP!

Sometimes in life you just gotta call it like you see it. When it comes to Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Dillon Brooks, this method is perfect.

When Dillion is good, he’s really good.


When Dillon is bad….you get it.

Before the Extension

From the moment Brooks was taken with the 45th pick in the 2017 NBA draft, many Grizzlies fans hoped the front office had pulled a “Spurs” and landed a diamond in the rough.

I mean come on…a Pac-12 Player of the Year falling right into your lap in the second round?

A late-round steal who might finally solve the wing problem that has plagued the franchise since the Rudy Gay days?

Yes, I’ll take two of those to go please!

Sure, the usual scouting “warts” were there as well – low on the athleticism, short wing span, blah blah! We just got a steal!

For the most part, all those prior feelings have been justified, especially considering Brooks is currently the longest-tenured player on the roster. He’s the last holdover from the Grit n Grind era and has been an above-average contributor his whole career, thus far.

Thus far…

After the extension

Up until Feb. 4 of this year, Brooks was on an upward trajectory even the most staunch naysayer couldn’t ignore, posting a solid 16 points per game on 38 percent shooting from three-point range.

Throw in the fact that the team was nearly undefeated when he scored 20 or more points and his strong locker room tone in regards to a certain salty veteran, it made perfect sense for the front office to extend Mr. Brooks.

Maybe it’s all a coincidence, because I’m sure some key injuries to the core played a part, but once that pen hit the paper things turned on a dime.

The 20-point games dried up and so did some of the Grizzlies’ winning ways.

I could hit you with all the numbers after signing the three-year, $35 million deal. But that amount of ugly is best reserved for truly terrible blind dates.

What I can tell you is for the Grizz to continue being the Cinderella story they’ve been over this very unusual season, Dillon Brooks will have to return to those pre-contract days.

Shooting in the teens from deep can no longer fly. Committing mental mistakes on defensive rotations that lead to silly fouls also won’t cut it.

I’m not a Dillon detractor. I’m just a blogger/fan who recognizes that an eight-game sprint to the playoffs is upon us, and one of the Grizzlies’ greatest attributes right now is depth.

De’Anthony Melton and Josh Jackson are waiting in the wings (pun intended) and Taylor Jenkins has to have all options on the table at this point.

If “Good Dillon” is ready to roll, then the Grizzlies are as well.

If “Bad Dillon” is hanging around, as a Memphis fan, you have to hope for a quick visit.

Only time will tell if we’re going to get the best or the worst.

Follow us on Twitter @Grizz_Lead for the latest Grizzlies news and insight.


About Reggie Walker Junior

I was born and raised in Memphis, TN. After attending the University of Tennessee at Martin, I became the Sports Director at an ABC affiliate in Jackson, TN. I've covered the NBA, NFL, and also Div. 1 hoops. I'm a Grizzlies fan but I aint bias, so expect nothing but the #SportsReal from me.

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