The Memphis Grizzlies are on the cusp of breaking into the top-eight in the NBA’s Western Conference, trailing the eighth seed by just 1.5 games heading into the All-Star break. A big reason for their recent success to get to this point was a 13-3 run in January after the return of reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol.
Gasol missed a lengthy stretch for the Grizzlies with a sprained MCL and the Grizzlies struggled over that time. Gasol is arguably the most integral part of this Memphis team for the way he leads their defense and also affects their offense with both his scoring and his ability to create as a passer in the high-post.
Memphis may have to find a way to try and survive without their big center, though. On Wednesday night in an 86-81 win against the Orlando Magic, Gasol banged his knee while setting a pick and was clearly hobbled by the impact. He then left the floor and didn’t return for the rest of the game.
You have to expect that the contact to Gasol’s knee irritated the previous MCL sprain, as opposed to this being a new injury. If that is the case, then that could be even worse news for Memphis. Not only would that likely mean another stretch that this team would have to play without Gasol, but it also indicates that this issue is lingering and could continue to affect him for the rest of the year when he is in the lineup.
There’s currently no word on the status of Gasol and the All-Star break will possibly provide some much-needed relief for the center. For the sake of the Grizzlies trying to fight for playoff-life, though, Memphis fans have to sleeping with their crossed fingers clutching a rabbit’s foot hoping this isn’t anything serious.