This all started with a collision. O.J. Mayo on Zach Randolph. Z-Bo went crashing to the floor in the same way Andrew Bynum seems to every spring, courtesy of a teammate and clutching his knee to his chest like he’s doing an explosive stretching warmup. At first it looked really bad, but Randolph made it off the court under his own power. What was originally labeled a knee bruise is now being reported as much worse: a slight tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal, who helped break the story of Memphis’ three-team trade this morning to nab Philly’s Marreese Speights, is also reporting an MRI has shown the injury to Randolph’s knee will probably cause him to miss two months. Luckily for Grizzly fans, it shouldn’t require surgery. Unluckily for Grizzly fans, this could spell doom for your playoff chances.
So now we know why the Grizzlies were so adament to pick up another big man: They knew something we didn’t. Despite Rudy Gay‘s shoulder injury from last season, Memphis is already knee-deep in worse luck than last year, and their health played a major part in becoming the league’s Cinderella. Randolph is hurt, the Grizzlies are off to another terrible start, and Marc Gasol is probably somewhere sobbing with his tag team partner out. Sitting at 2-3, with at least nine other legitimate playoff contenders has this team reeling. Let’s say Randolph does miss the entire two month stretch. He’d be in street clothes for 31 Memphis games.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported earlier this morning the Grizzlies acquired Speights, sending Xavier Henry to New Orleans with two second round picks ending up in Philly. It’s a solid addition, but you can’t replace someone who changed the culture of an entire organization while averaging 20 and 12 last season (22 and 11 in the playoffs).
It’s always my favorite players (O.J.…Kobe…) getting everyone hurt.
Can Memphis survive this?
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