Memphis Grizzlies All-Star center Marc Gasol returned from a 23-game absence on Tuesday just in time to take on Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. In his first game back from a sprained MCL, the 2012-13 NBA Defensive Player of the Year put up 12 points and four rebounds while seeing just over 24 minutes of action. More importantly, the Grizzlies were able to pull off a 90-87 win.
Without Gasol, the team struggled to a 10-13 mark and hopes of a fourth consecutive playoff berth began to wane. However, now that the 7-foot-1 native of Spain is back in the fold with post partner Zach Randolph and slick southpaw point-guard Mike Conley, better days should certainly be in store for Memphis fans.
The trio will look to lead the team to a fourth consecutive win on Wednesday night as they travel north to Wisconsin to take on the dreadful Milwaukee Bucks. This is definitely a must-win game for the Grizzlies with a chance to bring their record to an even .500 at 19-19 and attempt to climb further back into the Western Conference postseason picture. They currently trail the Phoenix Suns, who are reeling from the loss of dynamic guard Eric Bledsoe, by three games for the No. 8 seed.
The Bucks are a squad in total disarray as they bring a league-worst 7-30 win-loss mark into this contest. Head coach Larry Drew’s team has lost six straight games and nine of the last 10 overall. Even with the return of big man Larry Sanders and point-guard Brandon Knight producing at a career-best level, the Bucks simply cannot seem to get anything going. Needless to say, this matchup could get ugly.