Warriors change the narrative on Dillon Brooks' suspension: 'It doesn't matter'

2022-05-06 06:14
Credit: USA TODAY Sports - Scanpix

Memphis Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks was ejected from Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors after committing a Flagrant 2 foul on Warriors guard Gary Payton II resulting in him fracturing his left elbow.

Payton is expected to miss at least three weeks with the injury, though the Warriors have not ruled out a possible return for the NBA Finals. 

Warriors coach Steve Kerr believed that whether or not the play was intentional, it was certainly dirty, and that Brooks crossed a line. "Playoff basketball is supposed to be physical," he explained.

Player of the Game
Ja  Morant
Ja Morant
Points 47
Accuracy 15-31
Rebounds 8
Assists 8

"But there is a 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."

However, Brooks being suspended for Game 3 Saturday brought indifference, not satisfaction to the Warriors. 

"Doesn't matter. Gary's out for the foreseeable future or weeks. That's the only thing that matters to us," coach Steve Kerr said.

"It is what it is," added forward Otto Porter.

With the series tied 1-1, the Warriors shifted focus to defending Ja Morant. Morant scored 34 and 47 points in the first two games and is shooting better on 3-pointers (39.8%) than Stephen Curry (37.4%) or Klay Thompson (22.7%).

Without Payton or Andre Iguodala, who will be re-evaluated in one week with a neck injury, the Warriors won't have two of their better defenders available. Ja Morant, who scored 30 points in the Memphis Grizzlies' 104-101 win in November and had 21 points in a Dec. 23 loss, seems to be the Warriors' main concern at the moments.

"It's not going to be one guy trying to shut him down," Kerr said. "It's a team effort and obviously without Gary, we've got a tougher job on hour hands. We just have to go out and do it."


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