Grizzlies news: Timetable for star big man’s return revealed

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins (left) Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins (left) Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Grizzlies have been without one of their best players for over a month now, but his timetable for returning seems to be getting clearer. Will Steven Adams’ return be the boost the Grizzlies need to make a deep playoff run?

The Grizzlies are coming off a huge win over the Nuggets Saturday night, cruising to a 112-94 victory at home. The win helped ease the pain of their embarrassing loss to the Sixers a few days prior, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are just 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are still missing a vital piece of their starting lineup in Steven Adams due to his knee injury, and it has hindered them on both ends of the floor.

His rebounding ability is up there with the best in basketball, and his decision-making in the half-court helps open up the offense. The Grizzlies are surely missing his veteran presence too considering their oldest rotation member besides him is the ill-tempered Dillon Brooks. The good news is that he seems to be getting closer to making his return to the court.

Coach Jenkins gives update on Adams’ possible return to the Grizzlies

After quite some time without any significant updates, Head Coach Taylor Jenkins revealed that Adams has begun doing 5-on-5 work for the first time since injury, according to CBS Sports. Jenkins added that he doesn’t expect him to return to the court until after their upcoming four-game trip away from Memphis at the earliest. That would mean the earliest he could be back is their March 9th game against the Warriors.

He would have been out over six weeks by then, overshooting his original three to five week projection. While that’s not ideal, at least it overlapped with the All-Star weekend and caused him to miss fewer overall games. The Grizzlies are just 8-9 without Adams this year, so it will be interesting to see what that record is by the time he returns.

There is no doubt about how important Adams has been to the Grizzlies success, but how they look once he is healthy is hard to say. Now that they have added more shooting in Luke Kennard and gotten more playing time for backup big Xavier Tillman, the coaching staff may need to mess with the rotation a bit to maximize everyone’s skill sets.

A fully healthy Grizzlies team is still a threat to make a deep playoff run, even with all of the player movement at the trade deadline. Adams returning and looking like himself could be the catalyst for a strong surge heading into the playoffs.