Adams suffered a sprained PCL in Sunday’s loss to the Phoenix Suns and could sorely be missed in the upcoming weeks of action. Adams is a force in the low post, leading the league in offensive rebounds (5.1) and ranking in the top five in total rebounds (11.7). On a team rife with offensive talent, Adams takes care of a lot of the dirty work inside for the Grizzlies. Trouble could be coming.
The Grizzlies boasted an 11-game winning streak before dropping their last three, the latest a 30-point shellacking from the Sacramento Kings. Star point guard Ja Morant did miss that game with ankle soreness, but is expected to be back for the next one. The fact remains, though, that the Grizzlies will need others to step up the rebounding duties or risk sliding further behind Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets for first place in the West.
Although Morant and Desmond Bane present a lethal one-two combination for defenses, the team’s overall three-point shooting percentage falls below 35 percent. Future shooting struggles will not be bailed out by Adams’ ferocity on the glass. Memphis will need to employ a next-man up philosophy with Xavier Tillman (4.7 points, 3.0 rebounds), or head coach Taylor Jenkins might need to make some adjustments.
The Grizzlies (31-16) hope that Adams’ absence will not be glaringly obvious as they look to maintain the second seed in the conference, or possibly make up ground on the Nuggets.
Above all, they will need to adhere to the “Grit and Grind” mantra that once defined the franchise.