Give credit to the Memphis Grizzlies for tying their series with the Lakers at one game apiece on Wednesday night without Ja Morant. Even as one of the few on an island of LeBron James supporters who still believes the Purple and Gold will at least get to the Western Conference Finals, this wasn't a surprising outcome. If you've been watching the Grizzlies play (often) without Morant over the past two seasons, you know they've fared extremely well. They were the more desperate team. They couldn't go down 0-2 heading back to LA. Series would've been over.
So again, props to the Grizz for showing out this evening...
...Only for Dillon Brooks to be a dumbass once more and have to somewhat ruin it. Letting the emotions of the game spilling over out into the postgame interview. You can the basketball-pun-intended carryover from this fourth-quarter quarrel.
Brooks is 27 years old and should have a fully-developed frontal cortex by now. Or thereabouts. That doesn't stop him from waging verbal war on any of his opponents regardless of the circumstances.
I commend this young Memphis squad for its collective grit, fiery collection of personalities and entertaining brand of basketball. At the same time, stupid shit like this is exactly the lack of composure that derails the less experienced teams in the playoffs.
Does Dillon Brooks know that the Grizzlies, in fact, lost home-court advantage as a No. 2 seed? That he's talking shit to inarguably one of the three greatest basketball players of all-time? Saying he doesn't respect him unless he goes out and drops 40 points on him? Making OLD jokes!?
For all those who blast LeBron for his lack of killer instinct, if you've ever seen him get legitimately angry, or in thousand-yard stare mode, you know just how much of a force of nature he can be. Anyone care to remember this from the 2016 NBA Finals — a stage Brooks has never even caught the faintest whiff of — when Klay Thompson poked fun at LeBron for being in his feelings as the Warriors held a commanding 3-1 lead?
We all know how that turned out. Or did this not count in the record books somehow?
I don't care that he's in his 20th season and isn't 100%. This is LeBron James we're talking about. He's pacing himself. It's a long postseason. The Lakers had an off night and lost Game 2. They still stole the series opener in Memphis and are in great shape heading back to the City of Angels.
Brooks, bro. What is the upside to talking this much shit? The audacity. Especially coming from someone who shot less than 35% in the playoff last year. Greenie snapshotted the low point of that whole situation:
The Grizzlies have youth on their side and that should serve them well if they can stretch out this Lakers series to its maximum length. That said, LeBron has historically gone "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry" Hulk mode when something like this irks him.
But yeah, the Lakers are dead, LeBron is washed, anyone who roots for a No. 7 seed to advance multiple rounds in the postseason is a frontrunner, right? LOL OK.
Lest we forget, this is the same Dillon Brooks who nut tapped Donovan Mitchell in February. So he has some pretty unsavory on-court tactics in addition to be a frankly impulsive shit-talker. Good luck to the Grizzlies. Brooks' mouth are probably writing checks his teammates can't cash if his personal history and that of LeBron's are any indication.