It comes as no surprise that there has been a lot of back and forth between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies amid their NBA Playoffs first-round encounter. Dillon Brooks has once again taken the role of instigator, and he’s gone as far as firing direct shots at none other than LeBron James.
The Lakers knew this coming in, though, and they’ve been prepared for what Brooks and the Grizzlies bring to the table — both on and off the court. For his part, Lakers stud Rui Hachimura isn’t letting the noise get to him:
“They are a young team. They just want to talk. We don’t really care. We’re just going to play our game and try to win,” Hachimura said (h/t ClutchPoints on Twitter).
"[Grizzlies] are a young team. They just want to talk. We don’t really care. We’re just going to play our game and try to win.”
—Rui Hachimura, when asked about Dillon Brooks' recent comments towards LeBron.
(via @MarkG_Medina) pic.twitter.com/gcYFUnHEp5
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 21, 2023
Narrative-wise, it would be great to hear LeBron or any member of the squad respond to Brooks’ smack talk. However, the Lakers are too smart and too experienced to fall for their trap. Despite just being in his fourth season in the NBA, Hachimura has already learned the ropes, and he knows all too well what the Grizzlies are trying to do here.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to what goes down on the court. Hachimura has been quite a revelation for LA in the playoffs thus far, averaging 24.5 points on 69.2 percent shooting, while also knocking down 3.5 triples per game on a dizzying 70-percent clip. If Rui keeps playing like this, then he’s going to be a major factor in the Lakers’ hopes of taking down the No. 2 seed Grizzlies in the opening round.