UPDATE 6:33 p.m.: Tony Allen will play in Game 7, Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger told reporters about 90 minutes before tip-off. While a migraine was originally believed to be the issue, an eye injury is what caused him to miss shootaround, according to a report from the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
2:48 p.m.: The Grizzlies are already in trouble, facing a Game 7 on the road against the Thunder without Zach Randolph, who was suspended for the deciding game of the series after landing a punch to the face of Steven Adams late in Game 6.
There’s also starting point guard Mike Conley, who couldn’t play after tweaking his hamstring in Game 6. While he’s expected to give it a go in Game 7, he will not be 100 percent.
Now comes word that the team’s best defender may be sidelined, as well.
Allen left the Grizzlies’ morning shootaround Saturday early with a trainer while wearing wraparound black glasses. It appeared he may be suffering from a migraine.
Allen is the Grizzlies’ primary defender on Kevin Durant, and the central reason why the Thunder star is shooting just 41 percent in the series.
Memphis coach Dave Joerger would not comment on Allen’s issue or status, and when asked if he could play in the deciding game, he responded “possibly.”
Allen is the only chance the Grizzlies have to slow Kevin Durant, who had been inconsistent (but not unreliable) through the first five games of the series.
Durant went off for 36 points in Game 6 to avoid elimination, however, and if Allen should be unable to go (or is even severely hindered by what ails him), it could be another long night for the Memphis defense.
It would also be a disappointing way for the Grizzlies to end this playoff series, when they had more than a solid chance to pull off the upset and surprise some people by advancing to the second round.