Pacific Notes: Green, Brooks, Warriors, Lakers, Clippers

Warriors forward/center Draymond Green and Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks continued to trade barbs after Memphis blew out Golden State on Thursday night, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

At the end of the second quarter Brooks stole the ball and converted a contested layup over Green, then turned back and the two bumped chests. He eventually started jawing at Green and they had to be separated by an official, but Green remained silent.

I kind of wanted that play, just to see what he was going to say,” Brooks said. “But he took the media approach with that and didn’t say nothing, which is cool. I was expecting him to talk a little bit more, but I guess he needs to get all his facts together and talk.”

Green downplayed the incident, saying Brooks was trying to bait him into his 16th technical foul, which would have resulted in a one-game suspension. According to MacMahon, Green also scoffed at the notion that the Warriors and Grizzlies are rivals, despite eliminating each other in the past two postseasons.

One team has to win, and then another team has to win,” Green said. “That’s what creates a rivalry. Not because one team gets up for you and talk like they can beat you and then not. That doesn’t create a rivalry. Rivalries are created by you win, I win. Clearly, we’ve won four times, and I think their organization has zero championships, so I can’t consider that a rivalry.”

On his podcast, Green questioned whether Brooks’ teammates liked him. Brooks’ sneering retort was certainly valid, given the practice incident involving Green and Jordan Poole this past fall.

Just the fact that he was trying to pin my teammates against me, that was a low blow,” Brooks said, per MacMahon. “So that’s what type of player he is. These are my guys. We grew it all together. I ain’t out there getting in physical altercations with my teammates. I sit there and talk to them, try to not break them down, but build them up.”

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • The Warriors will continue to be shorthanded for Saturday’s home game against Milwaukee, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Second-year forward Jonathan Kuminga, who sprained his right ankle in warmups prior to Thursday’s game, has been ruled out, while Andrew Wiggins remains away from the team for personal reasons.
  • Entering Friday’s victory over Toronto, the Lakers held the NBA’s top defensive rating since the trade deadline, according to Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group. While Dennis Schröder, Troy Brown and Austin Reaves have been solid perimeter contributors on defense, Goon points out that the tandem of Jarred Vanderbilt and Anthony Davis has been particularly effective, with excellent defensive numbers when they’re paired together. “Him being able to communicate but also to be able to react, that’s what makes him so unique,” Vanderbilt said. “He can do both. He can talk and he can react, too. For me being on the perimeter, having a guy like A.D. behind me, I can be a lot more aggressive, knowing that I have a second line of defense.” The Lakers have gone 8-3 since they reshaped their roster.
  • After a five-game losing streak, the Clippers have rebounded with back-to-back victories, and they believe they’re heading in the right direction, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. “We’re figuring it out, I think we’re getting better game-by-game, definitely from these last two games,” Eric Gordon said Friday. “The sense of urgency is there. A lot of those losses came down to one possession and now we’re figuring it out a little bit more.” According to Greif, part of the team’s optimism stems from the health of Paul George, who says he can “do anything and everything I want to do” after dealing with a right knee injury last month.
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