Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams is expected to miss the playoffs due to a lingering right knee injury.
Adams suffered a sprained PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) in his knee during a Jan. 22 game against the Phoenix Suns after diving for a loose ball. He was initially expected to only miss three to five weeks of action, but the injury never healed completely and he has yet to play since.
In an attempt to replace Adams, the Grizzlies signed rookie big-man Kenny Lofton Jr. to a four-year $7 million contract Saturday, according to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
To fortify the frontline now, the Grizzlies are signing two-way rookie forward Kenneth Lofton Jr., on a four-year, $7M contract, his agent Mike George of @OneLegacySports tells ESPN. Lofton was the G League’s Rookie of the Year. https://t.co/BvkPxUtbNB
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 8, 2023
This is a significant loss for the Grizzlies. Adams does all the dirty work for Memphis throughout the course of a 48-minute basketball game. Adams rebounds the basketball better than most players, he sets bone-crushing screens, passes the ball well, and shuts down the paint with his massive body. The work Adams puts in during a game doesn’t necessarily show up in the box score, but it matters a lot in whether Memphis wins or loses.
The healthiest teams typically make the deepest playoff runs, not only in basketball but also in the other major North American sports. With that said, I’m not sure the Grizzlies will be able to overcome the likes of the Golden State Warriors or the Phoenix Suns during a playoff series without Adams being present. In order for the Grizzlies to make a run at the NBA championship, they’ll need all of their best players to be fully healthy, or at least close to it. (RELATED: New Orleans Pelicans’ $190 Million Star Zion Williamson Can’t Stay Healthy. Time To Cut Him Loose)
I’m afraid that without Adams, the Grizzlies will be eliminated from the postseason in the rounds leading up to the NBA Finals.