Reports: Grizzlies’ Mike Conley breaks spine, expected to miss six weeks

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This felt like the year Mike Conley could finally become an All-Star.

He’s averaging 19.2 points and 5.7 assists per game, leading the Grizzlies to an 11-7 record.

But an injury in Memphis’ loss to the Hornets yesterday threatens to derail Conley’s ascension.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com:

Conley has a high pain tolerance, so the odds of him returning sooner than expected are better than for most players. But this is a serious injury that will keep him sidelined for a while – which puts Memphis in a big bind.

The Grizzlies have been horrible without Conley on the floor, getting outscored by 13.8 points per 100 possessions. There’s a huge drop to backup point guards Wade Baldwin and Andrew Harrison, two rookies. Perhaps Baldwin and Harrison will fare better if they play more with Marc Gasol, but that’s a big hole to dig out of. It doesn’t help that Memphis’ best playmaking wing, Chandler Parsons, is also out.

A promising season for the Grizzlies is already beginning to feel like last year, when injuries ravaged them.