After bursting on the scene with a terrific performance in the 2008/2009 NBA playoffs, there is a new pressure facing Aaron Brooks heading into this season. The former University of Oregon superstar displayed the quickness and scoring that made him an All-American at the college level, as he helped lead the Rockets out of the first round playoffs. However, for this Rockets team to have the type of success it did last year, Brooks must take his game to another level.
Brooks knows that he will now be even more of a focal point in the Rockets offense, as Houston searches to replace the scoring of Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, and Ron Artest.
"Last year, a number of the guys were used to playing with Yao and Mac (McGrady) and them drawing so much attention that people got open shots. We have to be a little different this year. I got to get to the hole and make sure that I'm drawing attention. That way, when I kick out, people are attacking the close outs like they are used to. It might not be assists, but it might be the pass that starts the offense. In a way, I'm kinda trying to develop my game that way, where I'm drawing attention to myself and getting guys open."
In the playoff series against Portland, Brooks was able to attack the rim and be aggressive on the offensive end. Although the Trail Blazers have brought in Andre Miller to add depth to the point guard position, Brooks insists that he will continue to play his game no matter who the opposing defender is.
"Andre Miller is a great player, but I can't let whose in determine how I play," Brooks said of his match up against Portland. "I have to go out there and play my game, regardless of who it is. I know that Andre Miller is a great player, and he is going to post up a little more then Steve Blake is, but Steve Blake is a great shooter. You have to be ready to play against both."
Returning to Oregon is always a great experience for Brooks, who had great success in Portland during his time at the University of Oregon.
"I was 3-1 in my college career here. We had some success here and the fans were great. I hope they are still fans of me even though we did win the series," Brooks said with a laugh. "I still love the city of Portland and I still love Oregon. It's good to be back."