Grizzlies Dealt Major Blows Right Before 2023 Playoffs
The Memphis Grizzlies have been dealt a major blow ahead of the 2023 playoffs as starting center Steven Adams is expected to miss the postseason due to an injured right knee, according to sources from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Adams has been out since January 22 when he sprained his posterior cruciate ligament while diving for a loose ball during a game against the Phoenix Suns. Although he was initially expected to return within three to five weeks, he has not played since receiving a stem cell injection in his knee on March 8.
Adams’ absence will be a significant loss for the Grizzlies, who went 28-14 with him in the lineup. In addition to Adams, the Grizzlies will also be without key reserve center Brandon Clarke, who is out with a torn Achilles tendon. Xavier Tillman Sr. has been filling in for Adams and has been performing well, averaging 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in 29 starts.
To address their depth issues in the frontcourt, the Grizzlies have converted rookie power forward Kenneth Lofton Jr.’s two-way contract to a four-year, $7 million deal. Lofton was the G League’s Rookie of the Year and would not have been eligible for the playoff roster if he remained on a two-way contract. The Grizzlies have also waived rookie point guard Kennedy Chandler, a second-round pick, to create a roster spot for Lofton.
Despite these setbacks, the Grizzlies remain optimistic about their chances in the playoffs. They are the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed and have had a strong season, finishing with a 50-22 record. With Tillman stepping up and Lofton providing additional depth, the Grizzlies will look to make a deep run in the playoffs and prove that they can overcome adversity.
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