Marc Gasol left the game in New Orleans after Former Grizz Xavier Henry banged knees with him late in a disappointing loss in New Orleans. Early reports are a knee bruise and Marc should be back before the end of the season as he is listed as day-to-day.
So everyone in Memphis, and Spain for those interested in the Olympics, can breathe a sigh of relief.
More importantly this means the Grizzlies will rest Gasol prior to the playoffs. They had to find a way to rest him anyway. This gives Hollins and the coaching staff a reason no one can question. Marc Gasol’s played some serious minutes this season. He needs time off to get fresh for the first round. As long as his knee injury isn’t terribly severe, and it doesn’t sound like it is right now, Gasol should get plenty of rest over the next two weeks and be in great shape when the playoffs commence.
More importantly, this means the Grizzlies will have to make a change in the starting lineup. Most likely Zach Randolph will return and Mo Speights will move to center. Speights needs the experience starting against centers and Zach needs to get back into the starting five. Gasol’s injury allows both outcomes with no disruption among the team about who is starting.
Grizz fans have been asking when Zach will return to the starting lineup. Well Tuesday night in Minnesota is probably when it will happen. How long he remains in the starting five has yet to be determined but it is highly likely that as long as Randolph plays well he will remain as the starting PF.
The main drawback to this injury is that the Grizzlies chance for home court advantage in the first round took a serious blow. The Grizzlies fell two games behind the Clippers who only have 6 games remaining. Of course the remaining schedule includes home games against the Thunder and Hornets and road games against Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta and New York. The Clippers closing schedule is very difficult.
So assuming that Gasol’s injury only holds him out a few games then the team could be in great shape heading into the playoffs with most of our players rested, Zach back starting and the team ready to shock the world again.