The Memphis Grizzlies won Game 2 of their Western Conference Semifinals series against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, but this ended up being a very physical game.
Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks was ejected from the game early on after receiving a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2 for unnecessary and excessive contact on Warriors’ Gary Payton II while Payton was airborne and going for a layup.
Not being able to balance himself before hitting the ground, Payton fell hard on the left side of his body and he was later diagnosed with a fractured left elbow with some muscle and ligament damage as well.
The NBA has since addressed the situation, suspending Brooks for Game 3 of this series on Saturday.
For the last few days, Dillon Brooks has been receiving a ton of backlash for the foul on Gary Payton II and the Grizzlies as a whole have begun being called a “dirty team” because of what happened.
“I don't know if it was intentional, but it was dirty,” Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr said after Game 2 on Tuesday. “There is a code. This code that players follow where you never put a guy's season [or] career in jeopardy by taking somebody out in midair and clubbing him across the head, ultimately fracturing Gary's elbow ... He broke the code. Dillon Brooks broke the code.”
Former NBA guard and now ESPN analyst JJ Redick also gave his opinion on the matter, agreeing with Kerr and stating that Brooks had “broken the code” with his play on Gary Payton II.
Memphis Grizzlies’ head coach Taylor Jenkins has since talked about the play and Brooks’ upcoming suspension, stating that he does express sympathy for the Warriors’ guard, but that he feels there was nothing wrong about what happened.
“I also wanted to address a narrative out there that was said between Game 1 and Game 2,” Jenkins said recently. “It was said that we have to play more physical, and the word dirty has been thrown out there. I look at my locker room and I look at our culture and what we exude — we are the furthest thing from dirty. We are competitive. I want that to be squashed pretty quick here.”
Hard fouls and injuries are a part of the game and while it is unfortunate to see Gary Payton II suffer a major injury, Taylor Jenkins simply feels that Dillon Brooks was doing everything he could to try and prevent his team from giving up two points.
From the Warriors perspective though, Payton was already at the rim ready to get an easy layup when he was hit by Brooks, who did not come close to making contact with the basketball and instead made full contact with Payton’s head and body, resulting in the injury.
Game 3 on Saturday in San Francisco will be played without Dillon Brooks on the floor, as he serves his one-game suspension, but Warriors’ fans and players will surely come out in this game with a ton of energy and fire.
If you thought Games 1 and 2 were physical, buckle up for Game 3 because we are in-store for a very physical battle that will probably need to be very tightly officiated!
Related stories on NBA basketball
- UPDATE: Gary Payton II Injury Status For Rest Of Playoffs: Golden State Warriors’ guard Gary Payton II is officially out at least three weeks with a fractured left elbow, per multiple reports. CLICK HERE.
- 3 Things We Learned From Warriors-Grizzlies Game 2 On Tuesday: The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Golden State Warriors 106-101 in Game 2 of their Western Conference Semifinals series on Tuesday to even up this series at 1-1 heading to San Francisco. CLICK HERE.