Right now, the Memphis Grizzlies are trying to survive and get their heads above water as they battle with injuries and struggle in the NBA Western Conference. After reaching the Western Conference Finals last season, they find themselves on the outside of the playoff hunt and looking in.
The bad news for the Grizzlies is that they have been without two key players. Marc Gasol has missed seven games with a sprained MCL, an injury that has a recovery time of anywhere from 4-to-10 weeks, and Tony Allen has missed three with a hip contusion.
Despite the injuries, Memphis was able to get the victory over the Orlando Magic Monday night, 94-85, and improved to 10-10. The absences of Allen and Gasol are enormous, but Jon Leuer stepped up off the bench with 16 points and Zack Randolph led the team with a double-double at 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Memphis is only a game out of eighth in the West and expects Allen to be back anytime now, but it is unknown how long Gasol will remain sidelined. He is eager to get back and says he will push himself to get back faster, but the Grizzlies won’t want to rush him, especially with an injury of that magnitude.
Memphis should have the pieces to weather the storm until Gasol’s return. Allen will be a big boost when he returns and if Leuer can continue to step up, they will be in playoff contention when the big guy returns. The Grizzlies may want to think about trading for a better replace for Gasol instead of Kosta Koufos and Ed Davis.
Either way, Memphis should be able to hold steady until Gasol is healed and ready to play.