Atrocious Dillon Brooks performance saves Dubs from themselves

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The Chase Center crowd was asleep for four quarters. Klay Thompson couldn’t buy a bucket. Draymond Green shot all of two times. Jordan Poole turned in a vintage 2019 Jordan Poole performance, which is to say, he was bad. Mike Brown inexplicably played Damion Lee for 13 minutes, and he finished 1-for-6.

But the Golden State Warriors still beat the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinals series, 101-98. And for that, they have Grizzlies swingman Dillon Brooks to thank.

Brooks, fresh off a one-game suspension for clotheslining/injuring Gary Payton II, came out ready to make up for lost playing time. Sans Memphis star Ja Morant, Brooks decided to chuck at every opportunity. By game’s end, with the lead completely blown by the Grizzlies, Brooks was 5-for-19 from the floor and just 2-for-9 from beyond the arc. One of his perimeter makes was a banked 3-pointer at the buzzer, when the outcome was no longer in question.

Brooks wasn’t the only player on the court to stink it up, obviously. His teammate Jaren Jackson Jr. couldn’t find the hoop, either. But dear lord was Brooks forcing the issue. Here’s his third quarter shot selection: missed 3-pointer, missed layup, made layup (!), missed 3-pointer, missed jump shot, missed 3-pointer, missed 2-pointer. 

And here’s the relevant part of his play-by-play after checking back in at the 8:37 mark of the final frame: foul, turnover, turnover, made 3-pointer (!), missed 3-pointer, shot blocked, missed 3-pointer, foul. 

After the game, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said of Brooks, who logged 39 minutes: “Got a lot of trust in him. I loved what he was doing defensively, had a big three, a big two late in the game, just ball wasn’t bouncing for him a majority of the game. But I’ve got a lot of trust in that guy.”

Brooks is indeed a valuable piece of the Grizzlies team. The Warriors will also gladly let him shoot 19 times in Game 5 if he so chooses.

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