Can Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant be stopped sans Gary Payton II?

The Golden State Warriors lost one of their ace defensive weapons when Gary Payton II was fouled hard by memphis grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks and fractured his elbow on the landing. He’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks, which is well past the conclusion of this series.

Payton is responsible for guarding Grizzlies star Ja Morant, and the difference was noticeable after he got hurt. Morant finished with 47 points in the Grizzlies’ Game 2 victory.

Now, the Warriors have to not only figure out which defender will guard Morant, but who will replace Payton in the rotation and how does it change the landscape of the series.

The Commercial Appeal caught up with CJ HolmesWarriors beat writer and reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.

OUT OF PROTOCOLS:Memphis Grizzlies’ Steven Adams returns to practice ahead of Game 3 against Warriors

SUSPENDED:Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks suspended for Game 3 vs. Warriors due to foul on Gary Payton II

GIANNOTTO:With Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies are on verge of cracking Golden State’s code | Giannotto

AC: What are your early impressions on this series?

Holmes: Heading into this series we knew it was going to be a competitive one, but physical play by both teams has taken it to another level. The team that’s ultimately able to win this series will be the one that proves to be the toughest, both mentally and physically. Between the hard fouls and trash-talk, the Western Conference semifinals have been a slugfest in every sense of the word.

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