The Memphis Grizzlies' loss to the Miami Heat Friday night wasn't just a blow to them being one step closer to securing a playoff spot in the West; the Grizzlies may have lost center Marc Gasol for a few games as the regular season starts to come to a close. Gasol left the game midway through the third quarter with a sprained left ankle, and didn't return. The Grizzlies were up two points when he was subbed out.
After the game, he was seen leaving the arena in Miami wearing a walking boot, likely a precautionary measure by the Grizzlies but certainly something fans will want to keep an eye on. Gasol finished with 14 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes of action.
Gasol leaving American Airlines Arena in a walking boot— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) March 22, 2014
Gasol missed 23 games earlier in the season with an MCL sprain and the Grizzlies went 10-13 when he was out. They hold just a half game lead over the Phoenix Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, sliding back into eighth after the loss Friday night and a win from the Dallas Mavericks. Losing Gasol is huge because of his defensive presence, his facilitating ability on offense, and the fact that the Grizzlies are 30-15 with him in the lineup this season.
The Grizzlies host the Indiana Pacers Saturday night and Gasol is unlikely to make that game after the ankle sprain. He'll be reevaluated Saturday to update his status.