User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Grizzlies adjusting to life without Gasol

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Memphis Grizzlies were coming off an undefeated four-game West Coast road trip less than a week ago and life was good.

Advertisement
Then Marc Gasol limped off the court and everything changed for the Grizzlies.

Now the Grizzlies (7-7) have lost two straight at home, are a .500 team, and trying to find a productive rotation before falling too far behind in the loaded Western Conference.

The loss of the 7-foot-1 Gasol - out indefinitely with a sprained MCL in his left knee - is a blow at both ends of the court. The NBA's reigning defensive player of the year is also an important offensive piece, averaging 16 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

Gasol said he will rest 3-4 weeks before attempting his comeback.

''Nobody plays like Marc, no center in the league,'' Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph said. ''There's no comparing to him. It's going to be tough. We're just going to have to play hard - effort on both ends. Being in the right position and helping each other on defense.''

Gasol's absence means Kosta Koufos, who was acquired in a trade with the Denver Nuggets during the offseason, moves into a starting role.

Koufos started most of the past two seasons for the Denver Nuggets. He had eight points and a season-high 13 rebounds in his first start for the Grizzlies on Monday against the Houston Rockets. He's averaging 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

''I just play my role, rebound, run the floor, block shots, set good screens and occasionally, when the chance arises, score around the rim,'' Koufos said. ''I've shown I can start in this league. I've started many games in my career and been successful at it.''

Ed Davis is also in line for an increased role. The 6-9 forward was buried on the bench early in the season but played 16 minutes against the Rockets, adding six points and four rebounds.

Memphis coach Dave Joerger said Koufos does well in pick-and-roll situations. Because he can finish at the rim and draw defenders into the paint, Grizzlies' guards often can get open shots.

But Gasol is a better passer than Koufos, so Joerger said much of the team's offensive gameplan has to be altered.

''It's going to be a little bit of a work in progress until we forge a little bit of a new identity offensively and defensively,'' Joerger said.

Patience is difficult for a franchise that has aspirations of contending for its first NBA title. The Grizzlies made the Western Conference finals last season before being swept by the San Antonio Spurs.

Contending without Gasol is going to be tough.

The Grizzlies lost to the Spurs 102-86 on Friday night and were beaten 93-86 Monday by the Houston Rockets.

The loss to the Rockets was especially frustrating because the Grizzlies built a 14-point lead in the third quarter, only to watch it slip away when Houston erupted for 38 points in the fourth.

''We've got to start doing some stuff like that,'' Memphis guard Tony Allen said. ''Just coming together, doing it as a unit, just collectively doing it for 48 minutes.''

Gasol - who came to Monday's media session on crutches - said it's difficult to miss games, but is confident the team can tread water until his return.

''We've been a no-excuse team for long time,'' Gasol said. ''I don't find this to be a good enough reason for us to have an excuse. I know my teammates are going to hold it down and play good basketball. Are we going to win every game? Are we going to go 20-0? I hope so. I wish. But if we don't, we just have to play good basketball. Everybody's got to play with purpose and be aggressive and help teammates like we always do. Nothing changes.''

-----

Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Mejia: Dinero Talks: Midseason Awards
Hill helps Jazz beat Pacers, 109-100
D-Wade leads Bulls over Kings, 102-99
Nuggets rout short-handed Clips 123-98
Spurs down Cavaliers 118-115 in OT
Dekker leads Rockets past Grizzlies
Hawks pull away from 76ers, 110-93
Hornets win 112-105, Nets grab cover
Trail Blazers edge C's in OT, 127-123
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
2-0 LN, 13-4 G-Plays, +1,295 TY
12-5 L6 Days, +1,807 This Season
8-2 Run, 15-5 GPlays, 29-11 Totals
5-2 L7, 24-11 Streak, 8-2 Totals
4-0 L2 Days, 6-0 L6 Guarantees
5-2 L7 G-Plays, +1,841 This Year
18-8 Last 26 NBA G-Plays
3-0 L3 Days, 5-1 L6 Totals
11-3 L14, 18-7 L25 Guarantees
10-5 Last 15 NBA G-Plays
6-2 L8, 18-9 L27 NBA Totals
10-4 L14 Picks, 5-2 L7 Totals
9-4 L13 Over/Under Plays
4-1 L5 Guaranteed Plays
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks
2016 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 1841
Chip Chirimbes + 1807
Mark Franco + 1295
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 565
Chip Chirimbes + 557
Paul Bovi + 280
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Mark Franco 58 %
Chip Chirimbes 57 %
Doc's Sports 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 1271
Chip Chirimbes + 1131
Kevin Rogers + 820
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 1163
Bill Marzano + 1140
Jimmy Boyd + 576
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 843
Bill Marzano + 628
Jimmy Boyd + 498
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership