The $153 milloin man Mike Conley has experienced the best basketball of his career. Unfortunately, he’s now out for six weeks with a vertebrae fracture.
The Memphis Grizzlies are off to a 11-7 start, solidifying themselves among the league’s elite. However, it’ll be hard for the Grizz to stay hot; coming from The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, starting point guard Mike Conley is out at least six weeks with a fracture in his transverse process in his vertebrae.
This is a gushing blow for the Grizzlies. In addition to Conley’s injury, they are also without Chandler Parsons, James Ennis, Zach Randolph and Brandan Wright.
I don’t think Grizzlies Twitter is not coping well with this news. Mike Conley will be missed for a while.
Going forward. What to do without Mike Conley…
It’s virtually impossible right now to replace an All-Star caliber point guard, especially with two rookie point guards behind him on the depth chart. Losing Mike Conley will be a giant blow for a team with high playoff aspirations. However, I guess there’s hope.
Going forward, Marc Gasol has to emerge as an All-NBA center. As a two-time All-Star, he has to come through in clutch situations and keep the Grizzlies afloat.
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James Ennis and Chandler Parsons should be returning within the next week. Don’t be surprised if Fizdale uses non-traditional lineups with Parsons and Tony Allen (*gasps*) as primary playmakers.
Finally, the Grizzlies have to trust their rookie point guards for the moment. Granted, none of them will be able to lead the team without Mike Conley, however, Andrew Harrison and Wade Baldwin won’t develop if they don’t play. Fizdale will have to hope that playing Baldwin with the veterans will fix his wild tendencies. Their time without Mike Conley could prove to be a major part in their development as NBA point guards. The real question is, though, can the Grizz win AND develop their young guards?
Through players such as James Ennis, JaMychal Green and (more recently) Troy Williams, Fizdale has preached the mantra of “next man up.” If the Grizzlies could stay within striking distance of seeds 4-8 without Mike Conley, Fizdale will be a serious contender for Coach of the Year.
Injuries are a part of the game. Unfortunately, Mike Conley was bitten by the injury bug. On the bright side, his kind of injury could always be worse.
Best of luck to Captain Clutch. Prayers from the Beale Street Bears team and the Memphis Grizzlies community for a speedy recovery.