It is often said that injuries are part of the game and that they are no excuse. But when you have half the workforce that ends up in the infirmary including the two best players, it can quickly get complicated. So ask the Grizzlies.
Hard this start of the season for Memphis. After the very good campaign of last year, which saw the Grizzlies embed themselves to everyone’s surprise in the race for the Playoffs in the West under the impetus of their brilliant rookie Ja Morant as well as Jaren Jackson Jr. and the other young people in the workforce, the franchise of Tennessee must today manage without several major elements and it shows in the results. Four games played, three losses, all with no less than… eight players on the flank. FYI, the regular season started on December 22, today is the 31st. During last night’s meeting in Boston, Grayson Allen was added to the roster, playing just 12 minutes with an ankle injury. Start of the week, Ja Morant had joined the locker room at the Barclays Center in a wheelchair, he will be absent for three to five weeks. Years Jackson Jr. had suffered a meniscus tear in Mickey’s bubble in August and should not return before the end of January. You add to that the absences of De’Anthony Melton (COVID protocol, three missed games this season, day-to-day), Justise Winslow (hip, no game played with the Grizzlies, return date unknown), Xavier Tillman (kneecap , no game played in NBA, return date unknown), Killian Tillie (ischios, no game played in NBA, day-to-day) and Jontay Porter (knee, no game played in NBA, return date unknown), and you get an armored infirmary which will soon have to undergo expansion work if this continues.
The Grizzlies injured list …
Years Jackson Jr
The season resumed 8 days ago …
– TrashTalk (@TrashTalk_fr) December 31, 2020
Difficult in such conditions to really compete, especially for this young team which evolves in the terrible Western Conference, where the places in Playoffs are more expensive than ever. If the Grizzlies knew they would be deprived of JJJ or Justise Winslow at the start of the season, they did not expect to see Ja Morant join the infirmary for several weeks. And without the Rookie of the Year 2020, a young phenomenon at the post of playmaker, this is obviously not the same story at all. But when you also have a guy like Melton – a very valuable player coming off the bench last season – who is not available, when you have a rookie like Tillman – able to bring in defense – who is slow to make his big debut, and Grayson Allen – seductive in the bubble – is injured in his turn, then the task quickly becomes impossible, and this despite the efforts of Kyle Anderson, Jonas Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks. Of course, the cripples will come back one day, but the Grizzlies never imagined starting the season this way in Year II of the Ja Morant era. A second year which already promised to be not easy, because confirming a surprise season in the NBA – where the adaptation is constant on the part of the competition – is far from obvious, even more in the Wild Wild West where 80% of teams are trying to find a place in the Playoffs. The positive point in all this? Some players will have more responsibilities and will therefore be able to progress faster, even if we risk stringing defeats in Memphis. The leader Tyus Jones necessarily, he who replaces Morant in the five. But we think especially of rookie Desmond Bane, who started in the second period in Boston following Allen’s injury, all this to finish with 16 points in 32 minutes (two records for him). We also think of John Konchar, who also had his biggest career playing time on the Celtics’ floor yesterday (23 minutes, 9 points), or the undrafted rookie Sean McDermott (first NBA appearance in Boston with 21 minutes). on the meter).
The Grizzlies have a series of sores at the start of the season, and we will have to wait a little before seeing them do the entire show again. Come on guys, we wish you a good recovery, and be careful as we go into 2021.