The Grizzlies have the inside track for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.
They’re in eighth place, 3.5 games up from the chasing pack. If the ninth-place team forces a play-in by getting within four games of eighth, the eighth-place team would have to win only one play-in game before the ninth-place teams win two.
But Memphis will finish the season without Justise Winslow, who never played for the Grizzlies after they got him from the Heat just prior to the trade deadline.
During Monday’s practice, Justise Winslow fell after absorbing contact during an intra-squad scrimmage. Medical evaluation revealed a hip injury, which will cause him to miss the rest of the season.
Last night during a scrimmage, I experienced a contact injury in my hip that unfortunately will keep me out until next season. I was excited to join my brothers on the court & will be supporting them throughout. I’m focused on coming back 100% towards a full recovery. 🤞🏾🐻💙 pic.twitter.com/s4ds2CNSNC
— Justise Winslow (@IAmJustise) July 21, 2020
The Grizzlies paid a substantial price for Winslow – taking on the burdensome contracts of Dion Waiters and James Johnson and surrendering Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder. Winslow was sidelined by a back injury at the time, and his health history is troubling.
Maybe he’s injury prone. Maybe this latest setback was unrelated to prior problems. But even if random, this hip injury could leave him susceptible to future injuries.
The Grizzlies are young, and Winslow is locked up another two seasons. So, hopefully he’ll get on the court with Memphis’ other top talent next year.