Dillon Brooks has developed a bit of a reputation as an instigator over the past few seasons. The Memphis Grizzlies wing was infamously ejected from a playoff game last postseason for a cheap shot on Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II, and on Thursday, he got into it with another opposing player. This time, it was Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell.
Brooks was going up for a layup with just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter, but his attempt was altered by Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley and headed out of bounds. Mitchell was trying to save the ball, but Brooks, who was on the ground, hit him in the groin. Mitchell responded by throwing the ball off of Brooks, who was still on the ground, and this started a fight between the two teams.
Brooks was assessed a flagrant-2 foul, which automatically disqualifies him from the game, and Mitchell was also ejected. The Cavaliers led 83-77 at the time of the altercation, and that lead has since grown without Brooks or Mitchell in the game.
Things have not been going well for the Grizzlies of late. They had lost six of their previous seven games entering their tilt with the Cavaliers, and losing Brooks to a suspension would only make things more difficult for them. Brooks will be a free agent after the season, and incidents like this aren’t going to help convince the Grizzlies to commit to him with a long-term contract. Something needs to change in Memphis if the Grizzlies are going to get back on track this season.