The Memphis Grizzlies were already heading into the upcoming campaign facing an uphill battle what with the suspension of Ja Morant for the first 25 games, but now, with the recent Steven Adams injury news, things seemingly have become all the more challenging.
Initially pegged as a legitimate title contender, considering they’ll be without their superstar guard for a third of the season and their primary pivot for the entirety of it one should expect that many will be shifting their expectations for the club moving forward.
However, it would appear that not all are altering their projections for the Grizzlies as we approach tip-off to 2023-24, as ESPN analyst and former NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins recently stated on NBA on ESPN that he hasn’t shifted his views regarding what the “best case scenario” for Memphis will be.
Unfortunately, both before and after Adams’ season-ending surgery announcement, he had them pegged as a Play-In team.
Kendrick Perkins issues grueling analysis of ‘best case scenario’ for Grizzlies
"“[Best case scenario for Memphis is] the Play-In Tournament. And that was even before Steven Adams went out,” Perkins said. “Think about it, I don’t think Brandon Clarke is back yet, so they’re limited at depth when you look at the big.”"
Perkins would go on to note that while there are, in fact, impressive talents residing within Memphis’ frontcourt rotation such as Kenneth Lofton Jr., someone he referred to as “Zach Randolph 2.0,” and Jaren Jackson Jr., he would voice concerns over whether they can step up enough to fill this void left behind with the Adams injury, for the former has yet to prove capable of performing “when it matters the most” while the latter hasn’t instilled any confidence in his abilities to serve as an effective center, especially when taking into account his FIBA follies.
As he stated in his segment, the ex-big man’s belief that the Grizzlies will find themselves taking part in the Play-In is nothing new, as he has been quite vocal about this particular prediction many times in the past.