With Team Canada needing to overcome Luka Doncic and Slovenia to continue their path in winning the coveted gold medal in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, a herculean effort was needed from the team's top guys, such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dillon Brooks. Gilgeous-Alexander, the talented combo guard who made First Team All-NBA last season, did his job on offense, while Brooks had to shoulder the responsibility of being Doncic's primary defender.
Brooks, despite hearing it from fans in Manila who have come to jeer him thanks in large part to his brash trash-talk and insane instigation tactics, performed his role as well as one could. Doncic is a matchup nightmare for anyone, but Brooks made sure to prevent the Dallas Mavericks star from getting into a rhythm. The usually unstoppable Slovenian star finished the game with an uncharacteristically inefficient showing from two-point range, making just four of his 14 attempts from inside the arc as the Houston Rockets wing made scoring a taxing undertaking for Doncic.
Thus, it's no surprise to see that Dillon Brooks, with a semifinal matchup against Serbia on the docket, be as confident as he is in his lockdown defensive skills on the perimeter after holding Luka Doncic to a lackluster game relative to his usual lofty standards.
“I feel like I'm the best perimeter defender in the league, in the NBA, in the world. I feel like I can bring a different type of defense, through my IQ to the game, but also with the discipline I have when I'm on the field,” Brooks said, per Christos Tsaltas of Sportal.
Luka Doncic and the rest of the Slovenia squad protested the referees' decision to swallow their whistles every time Dillon Brooks would engage in hard-nosed physicality with the Mavs star. But Brooks thrived off of FIBA's increased allowance on physicality, and Canada, as a result, sent Slovenia packing.
Brooks is certainly an elite defender, and based off his most recent game, he certainly has the skill to insert himself in the conversation of the best perimeter defender in the NBA and in the world. The goal now for him is to cut on the bad shots so more people can see his impact for what it truly is.