LeBron James shows massive respect to Dillon Brooks ahead of Lakers-Grizzlies playoff matchup

David Akerman
3 Min Read

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers won their way into the 2023 NBA Playoffs by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves in an overtime thriller at home on Tuesday night.

Now, they’ll get ready to face the No. 2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. Before the Lakers beat the Timberwolves, Dillon Brooks spoke about potentially facing off against the Purple and Gold, issuing a confident message.

After the game, James spoke about the matchup with the Grizzlies and made sure to point out that Brooks can’t be disrespected because he makes shots.

Brooks likely won’t be too much of a focal point for the Lakers, though he did record 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game during the regular season.

The University of Oregon product played in all three Lakers-Grizzlies regular season contests this season, but he didn’t fare all too well. In those three contests, he averaged just 9.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while making just 24.4 percent of his shots from the field and 30.0 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

While his defensive production (2.4 defensive win shares) increased this regular season (compared to last), his offensive game seemed to take a bit of a hit. Regardless, he’s still a valued member of the Grizzlies and should bring tons of energy to the court for Memphis.

As for James, he recorded 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while knocking down 50.0 percent of his shots from the field and 32.1 percent of his 3-pointers in the regular season.

Despite his team starting the campaign 2-10, he was able to will the squad to the postseason and help it clinch a playoff berth. That feat seemed nearly impossible in the early stages of the 2022-23 season.

Now, all of L.A.’s focus is on making it as far as possible in the playoffs. The organization has plenty of believers out there. Former Lakers Kyle Kuzma is one of those believers, as he recently said that he thinks the Lakers can make it all the way to the NBA Finals this year.

There’s a long way to go before reaching that stage, but it’s certainly an attainable goal. Game 1 of L.A.’s first-round series is set to get started on Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m. PST.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.