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NBA Memphis GrizzliesNew Orleans Pelicans

Tony Allen’s Return Not Enough, Memphis Grizzlies Fall To New Orleans Pelicans

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies are going through a bit of a rough patch. They find themselves 10-12 and on the outside of the playoff race in the NBA Western Conference. Injuries to key players have kept Memphis in a battle with the .500 mark. Marc Gasol has missed nine games with a sprained MCL and Tony Allen has missed a handful with a hip contusion.

Allen returned against the New Orleans Pelicans, but it wasn’t enough, as Memphis lost 104-98. Allen was somewhat quiet with six points on 3-of-9 shooting and five rebounds. The absence of Gasol continues to haunt the Grizzlies, as they have gone 1-4 in the last five games.

There is a silver lining, however, and it’s Jon Leuer. The former Wisconsin Badger has stepped up the last six games, averaging 16 points and eight rebounds. That’s not too bad for someone who has seen incredibly limited playing time his entire career. Leuer’s play is a good sign for Memphis, because they have no idea when Gasol might return. MCL injuries should not be taken lightly, and even though Gasol says he will push himself to get back as soon as possible, the Grizzlies may slow him down to be cautious, which makes sense to do that if Memphis is in the playoff hunt. It could be another month or two before Gasol returns, and a lot can happen in that time.

It should be a point to get Leuer more time. He could be a quick fix until Gasol returns to his rightful position in the post.

Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @Smphil01, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.