Memphis Grizzlies Center Steven Adams Out for Postseason

Posted on: April 13, 2023, 07:06h. 

Last updated on: April 13, 2023, 10:12h.

The Memphis Grizzlies announced that starting center Steven Adams won’t play in the 2023 NBA playoffs because of a lingering right knee injury.

Steven Adams
Steven Adams, center from the Memphis Grizzlies, calls out a defense during a game on Christmas against the Golden State Warriors. (Image: Getty)

The Grizzlies ended the regular season with a 51-31 record and earned the #2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs for the second year in a row. They were eliminated from last year’s playoffs in the conference semifinals by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors.

The Grizzlies host the #7 Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of this year’s playoffs. The Lakers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Play-In Tournament to secure the #7 seed in a thrilling overtime finish.

Betting the Grizzlies in the Postseason

The Grizzlies and Lakers meet on Sunday in Game 1 of a best-of-seven series. The Grizzlies opened as a -3 favorite, but the point spread is currently -3.5.

Oddsmakers at DraftKings installed the Grizzlies as the betting favorite at -140 odds to win the series, and the Lakers are +120 underdogs. It’s a much closer series, betting-wise, than the typical #2 vs. #7 matchup. That’s because of the Lakers’ popularity and the public’s affinity to bet on superstar LeBron James in the playoffs.

Grizzlies all-star point guard Ja Morant is one of the most exciting players in the NBA, but his troubles off the court caught up to him this season. He served a brief suspension after flashing a handgun on a live social media stream at a strip club in the Denver suburbs after a loss against the Denver Nuggets in March. Morant underwent counseling and apologized for his immature behavior. He hopes to put the youthful indiscretion in the past by knocking out the Lakers in the opening round.

The Grizzlies are +2000 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship. They opened the season at +2200 odds, and saw their odds shrink as low as +1100 prior to the All-Star game break.

Even though the Grizzlies are the #2 seed in the West, they’re fifth on the futures board at +700 odds to win the Western Conference crown.

FiveThirtyEight predicts the Grizzlies have a 15% chance to advance to the NBA Finals and have only a 5% chance to win the championship. FiveThirtyEight expanded their playoff projection to include conference finals predictions, where the Grizzlies have a 31% chance to advance to the Western Conference finals.

Adams: PCL Injury Never Improved

Adamas averaged 8.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game this season before a knee injury sidelined him in late January. He was diagnosed with a sprained PCL and the Grizzlies expected him to return sometime in March.

Even though it’s been nearly 10 weeks since the initial injury, Adams showed very little improvement, so the Grizzlies decided to shut him down for the entire postseason.

It’s pretty confirmed Steven is most likely out for the playoffs,” said head coach Taylor Jenkins. “We don’t have definitive words on what the next steps are. It’s been an ongoing process the last couple of weeks.”

Adams underwent a stem cell injection to boost the healing process, but it didn’t work.

“No setbacks, no reinjuries, it was just not progressing to a level,” added Jenkins. “Obviously some unfortunate news. We thought we were making headway with the process, but each evaluation opportunity we had with the doctors kind of revealed it’s not progressing like we need it to.”

Xavier Tillman, a third-year big man from Michigan State, averaged 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this season. Tillman started 29 games, and Jenkins inserted him in the lineup after Adams suffered his knee injury in January.

Santi Aldama, a second-year power forward from Spain, has been a huge surprise for the Grizzlies this year after Adams went down. Aldama averages 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 36% from 3-point range.

Rookie Kenneth Lofton, Jr. could also earn a spot in the postseason rotation. The Louisiana Tech forward appeared in 24 games and averaged 5.0 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, and exploded for 42 points in the final game of the season.