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Marc Gasol returns, will play Wednesday for Grizzlies

Mar 27, 2013, 7:12 PM EDT

Marc Gasol AP

UPDATE 7:12 pm: Well, that was fast — Marc Gasol is going to return to the Grizzlies lineup Wednesday night as they take on the Knicks in New York.

Gasol knows his own body. But ab injuries like this can linger, he shouldn’t push it. Hopefully there isn’t a setback.

This could be trouble for the Knicks, who will be without Tyson Chandler on Wednesday to counter the big Memphis front line of Gasol and Zach Randolph.

2:38 pm: With Marc Gasol in the lineup, the Memphis Grizzlies are a team built for the playoffs — they defend, they like grinding games, they can pound you inside.

Without Gasol it’s hard to picture them getting out of the first round. He’s that important — the most well rounded center in the game, he brings more than his 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. He’s their anchor.

And he tells the Commercial Appeal he’ll be back from his torn abdominal muscle before the playoffs start.

“No, no, no,” Gasol said. “We’re going to try to keep (treating it) and when it feels good and gets better, I’ll get out there. I don’t care if it hurts a little bit. I have no problem with that. We’re going with indefinite. But it’s going to go game-by-game, day-by-day.”

This is an example of what happens when you don’t rest an injury at first. Gasol injured his abs on March 6 against Portland but kept playing through it, aggravating it and making it worse against New Orleans March 22.

“I was playing anywhere from 60-65 percent before New Orleans,” Gasol said. “I felt like it wasn’t getting better. I felt pain and I was ineffective rebounding the ball. I lost all of my explosiveness. I’m not very explosive anyway but the little bit I try to be was gone. It just hurt real bad. When we did the test it was obvious.”

It would be nice if Gasol could get back for a few games before the playoffs, but the important thing is to get him as healthy as possible before the games get serious. Because in the Western Conference there will be no easy rounds.

  1. 13arod - Mar 27, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    the only thing they can’t do shoot 3 pointers if they have to shoot a 3 to tie the game who are they going to

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 27, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      You’re right that as a whole, they’re not a very good 3-point shooting team. However, they do have above average to very good shooters on the roster, including…

      Quincy Pondexter is a career 37.5% 3-point shooter who is shooting 42.4% this year.
      Tayshaun Prince is a career 36.9% 3-point shooter who is shooting 39.5% this year.
      Mike Conley is a career 37.4% 3-point shooter who is shooting 35.3% this year.

      So they don’t have a Ray Allen or Steve Novak type marksman who is an elite 3-point shooter, they have a few good options.

  2. eventhorizon04 - Mar 27, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    This is a tough break for Memphis. Generally, I don’t agree with teams that ask their stars to play at “60-65 percent” during the regular season when like the Grizzlies they’re guaranteed a playoff spot.

    It’s not about how you play in October-March – it’s about how you play in April-June. The playoff race for a top-4 seed in the West is very competitive, but I’d rather have a Marc Gasol near 100% for the playoffs as a 6th seed than have an injury-slowed Gasol for the playoffs as a 3rd seed.

    With 12 games to go, the Grizzlies have a 7 game lead over the 6th-seed Golden State Warriors, so barring complete collapse by the Grizzlies going hand in hand with domination by the Warriors for the rest of the regular season, the Grizzlies should be a 5th seed at worst even with Gasol out.

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 27, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      And nevermind – apparently, he’s already cleared to play.

      I don’t see the point in rushing him back if a week off gives his abdomen muscles more time to heal, but to each his own.

  3. dirtydavis - Mar 27, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Pffft!!! Its not like it matters… He should take route Rose avenue and sit out

  4. jasonatvertigo - Mar 27, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Be good to rest up a bit

  5. limonadamas - Mar 27, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    What are the Grizz thinking??? Gasol should rest… coming back early is a terrible idea. It’s penny-wise, pound-foolish. Kind of like DRose last year, playing injured and ultimately catching a bad break. Hopefully he doesn’t aggravate it. =(

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