Did Kyrie Irving’s absence save Dillon Brooks from embarrassment?

Mar 11, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks (24) reacts during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks (24) reacts during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

Without Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks battled to regain the league against a Memphis Grizzlies team without Ja Morant. While it looked like everything was coming up roses for the Mavs early in the second half, they let the win slip off their fingers as the Grizzlies surged their way to a 108-112 victory on Saturday night.

Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 25 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. However, the night belonged to rookie David Roddy who scored a career-high 24 points, shooting four out of his seven attempts from three.

On the other hand, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jaden Hardy, and Josh Green led the way for the Mavericks with 23, 22, and 21 points, respectively. However, this was not enough to get them the win. Missing Doncic and Irving at the same time is the worst nightmare for Dallas at this point in the season. With the playoffs quickly approaching, the Mavs are yet to fully figure out how to work with both stars on the floor while they cling to the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have managed to win back-to-back games against the Golden State Warriors and the Mavericks without their star Ja Morant, who is taking time away from the team after a controversial Instagram live episode in which he was seen flashing a gun in a nightclub. The live video came in the heat of Morant facing allegations of jumping and flashing a gun at a teenager and assaulting a mall security guard. While there is a lot of uncertainty about his return, his team will likely hold down the third seed. Otherwise, they will at least stay in the playoff picture.

Is Dillon Brooks biting off more than he could chew?

The Grizzles have gone from an admirable team of hardworking underdogs to the self-made villains of the NBA. For that, they can credit sixth-year forward Dillon Brooks. The Oregon product has made himself known lately, but not necessarily with his ability on the court. Brooks has earned a reputation for his bad-boy persona and found that the shoe fits. This was highlighted when Brooks co-starred in an on-court altercation with Fox Sports 1 analyst and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe and the rest of the Grizzlies. Brooks has also found himself in a boiling rivalry with Golden State’s Draymond Green.


Saturday’s game was no exception for Brooks’ antics. Before the game, Brooks made statements about both of Dallas’ stars. “It goes to show that sometimes they ain’t ready to come back to a physical game,” Brooks said about Doncic’s questionable status.

“Now I can’t wait to get him by myself today,” Brooks said about Irving. “I can’t wait to pick him up full every time and see him get exhausted.” Irving would end up not playing, which meant Brooks’ hopes of guarding him to exhaustion were crushed. However, it would be hard to think that he could have backed up his words otherwise.

Despite his team winning, Brooks had a subpar evening, to say the least. Although he tallied eight points and five rebounds, Brooks was idle on the defensive end, where he claimed he would lock Irving down. One steal, a turnover, and three personal fouls capped off Brooks’ shift. The game was close for the most part, and Irving’s presence could have easily pushed it in the opposite direction.

“Dillon hopes every best player plays, just because it makes him a lot better competitive-wise,” Irving said in response. “There’s been a lot going on with him, seeing him in the middle of all the Draymond [Green] stuff. I mean, it makes it great for our league, but at the same time, there’s a maturity that we’ve got to have.”

Next. Panic or patience: Should Dallas be concerned with Luka’s and Kyrie’s fit?. dark

The Grizzlies and Mavericks will run it back on Monday, Mar. 13, in Dallas.