The Memphis Grizzlies report that Marcus Smart will be sidelined for 3 to 5 weeks due to a left foot sprain, the team announced. Consequently, he won’t be in action on Sunday as Memphis hosts his former team, the Boston Celtics.
The left foot sprain occurred when Marcus Smart landed on Austin Reaves’ foot during the Lakers-Grizzlies showdown, forcing him to exit the court with assistance from teammates without putting weight on his left leg.
Marcus Smart headed to the locker room after suffering ankle injury, ouch ! pic.twitter.com/Bn3Vn2AFNU
— NBArepublic.com (@nba_republic) November 15, 2023
In Smart’s absence, Jacob Gilyard is anticipated to assume a more prominent role in playmaking responsibilities. Additionally, Luke Kennard (though sidelined for tonight) is set to fill in for some of the minutes left vacant by Smart.
This is a significant setback for the Grizzlies, who achieved 50-plus victories in each of the previous two seasons but currently find themselves at 2-9, occupying the last position in the Western Conference.
Their struggles stem from a combination of injuries and a suspension, and the absence of former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart adds to their challenges.
The Grizzlies face a notable shortage in the backcourt, with Ja Morant suspended for the first 25 games of the 2023/24 season due to multiple suspensions in the past year.
Derrick Rose has also been sidelined since late October due to a left knee injury; however, he is officially listed as questionable for Saturday’s game, hinting at a potential return in the near future. The team is grappling with adversity as they strive to overcome a challenging start to the current season.
Injuries have ravaged the Memphis Grizzlies’ frontcourt, with Steven Adams out for the season and Brandon Clarke likely missing most of it due to an Achilles tendon tear.
Xavier Tillman’s left knee injury has kept him out of four of the last five games. Despite the potential for an extra roster spot via a hardship exception, current circumstances don’t meet the criteria.
Two-way player Jacob Gilyard, a 5’9″ point guard, has started the last three games and is expected to continue in that role until the Grizzlies regain more players in their frontcourt.