It was considered somewhat of a slow start to the season when the Memphis Grizzlies barely managed to stay above .500 with a record of 7-5 through their first 12 games.
Then they lost Marc Gasol to a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee against the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 22. How bad have the Grizzlies been since losing the reigning Defensive Player of the Year? Including that Spurs game where Gasol managed to play less than 10 minutes before suffering the injury, his team has gone 2-8. During that span, the team has floated Zach Randolph’s name for trade possibilities, while Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves – both teams that have had a long history of losing to the Grizzlies – finally snapped their respective 11-game losing streaks.
After the latest loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Memphis has dropped to 10-14 overall on the season. If this has proven anything, it’s that Gasol is an indispensable piece for this team on both ends of the court. Although there is still no timetable for the all-important center, he did provide a glimmer of hope with the following tweet:
Wont need these anymore… pic.twitter.com/VaNBWlyB4G
— Marc Gasol (@MarcGasol) December 18, 2013
It appears he will not need to walk around with crutches anymore, and that has to be a sight for sore eyes to the Grizzlies Nation. Gasol has a tendency to return as quickly as he can from injuries, so hopefully, he can make a speedy return for the sake of his currently-hopeless team and stop the bleeding before they fall back too far to contend for a playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
James Park is the chief blogger of Sheridan Hoops. You can find him on twitter @SheridanBlog.