When the NBA season resumes on July 30, the Memphis Grizzlies will be trying to fend off several teams from overtaking them for the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs. That task just became slightly more difficult after the team announced Tuesday morning that forward Justise Winslow will be out for the remainder of the season after he suffered a hip injury during practice on Monday. Winslow, who was traded to Memphis in February has yet to suit up for the Grizzlies as he's dealt with a litany of injuries throughout the 2019-20 season.
In a statement, the Grizzlies announced:
"During Monday's practice, Justise Winslow fell after absorbing contact during an intra-squad scrimmage. Medical evaluation revealed a hip injury, which will cause him to miss the rest of the season. Winslow is expected to make a full recovery."
Winslow just can't catch a break this season. Prior to being traded to the Grizzlies, the fifth-year forward out of Duke missed the majority of the season due to a lingering back injury and also dealt with a concussion in November. He was actually making progress toward a return before the season was postponed, but that was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, though, Memphis expected the versatile forward to suit up for them when they headed to Orlando, as he said he was feeling "pain-free and symptom-free" from his back issues in April.
After his injury was announced, Winslow took to Twitter to share his disappointment in sustaining another injury.
"Last night during a scrimmage, I experienced a contact injury in my hip that unfortunately will keep me out until next season. I was excited to join my brothers on the court and will be supporting them throughout. I'm focused on coming back 100% towards a full recovery."
Winslow would've provided another weapon for the Grizzlies on offense, as well as on the defensive end. Losing him is unfortunate, but Memphis hasn't played a game with him this season so it won't be too difficult to adjust. Still, though, the debut of Winslow was an anticipated one as the Grizzlies try to hold on to a playoff spot in the West. The Grizzlies will have to charge on with what got them to this point all season, which is the superb play from Rookie of the Year favorite Ja Morant, along with Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke.
The Grizzlies are currently the favorites (-140) to hold onto the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs, per SportsLine. However, the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans are lurking behind them to grab that spot. The Blazers are currently 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies, and all they need to do is stay within four games of them to trigger the play-in game for the final postseason spot. Despite that being the case, any team below Memphis would need to beat them twice in play-in games to overtake the No. 8 spot in the West, while the Grizzlies would only need to win one.