This past Sunday, devastating news broke that the Memphis Grizzlies will be without starting pivot Steven Adams for the entirety of the 2023-24 season as he opts to undergo surgery to repair the right posterior cruciate ligament in his knee that shelved him for the final 36 games of last season and during their playoff run.
This unfortunate happening now has the franchise’s faithful followers entering into the five stages of grief, for his return to action for this upcoming campaign was perceived by many as being a major boon for the team, especially considering they’re already slated to be without superstar Ja Morant for a third of the year due to a league-issued suspension.
Ripple effects following the loss of Grizzlies center Steven Adams
Not having Adams in the rotation is bound to see a slew of ripple effects presenting themselves moving forward, and there are a few, in particular, Grizzlies fans should be aware of.
3. Staying afloat without Morant now becomes a bit more challenging
While not having Adams in the lineup on its own is already a grueling reality Memphis will need to face, as suggested already, the severity is amplified significantly when considering they’re already coming into the season without their cornerstone Morant for the first 25 games.
A title-hopeful club, coming into October 25’s opener the consensus mentality relating to the guard’s suspension has seemingly been focused on trying to stay above .500 in the win-loss department until the 24-year-old is eligible to make his return.
While this feat is still quite possible, especially considering the ease of their upcoming schedule, without Adams said task now becomes a bit more challenging.
As seen last year, the Grizzlies struggled mightily without their primary center in the mix.
During the final 36 games of last season with Adams sidelined, the team saw themselves ranking a mere 13 in win percentage (.556), 13 in offensive rebounding (10.3), 15 in total rebounding (43.1), ninth in defensive rating (112.6), and 13 in net rating (2.2).
This was a severe contrast to when he was found in the lineup, as the team placed remarkably in the ranks at third (.674), first (13.4), first (49.4), first (109.2), and second (5.4), during his 42 games on the floor.
Though history isn’t necessarily bound to repeat itself, especially considering they now have more time to prepare for proper adjustments than they did last season, their track record both in with success rate and on-court production without Adams is a bit concerning.