The Memphis Grizzlies won’t have shooting guard Desmond Bane in the lineup for the next two to three weeks while he recovers from a big toe injury.
Bane suffered the injury on Friday evening against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Grizzlies defeated the Timberwolves, 114-103, during a rematch of last year’s first round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Grizzlies knocked out the Timberwolves in six games to advance to the conference semifinals.
Bane sat out Sunday’s road game against the Washington Wizards and underwent an MRI on Monday. He was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain on his right big toe.
The Grizzlies anticipate that Bane could return as early as the first week of December. If that’s the case, then he’ll miss only seven games. If he’s out for three weeks, Bane could miss 10 games.
Bear Down: Bane the Second-Best Scorer
Bane averages 24.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game this season. He’s shooting a career-best 45.1% from 3-point range. The Grizzlies will miss Bane because he’s their second-best scorer behind Ja Morant, and is the team’s best 3-point shooter. Bane is ranked #5 overall in the NBA with 3.8 made 3-pointers per game.
He’s only scratching the surface of what he can be and he consistently does it, which is phenomenal,” head coach Taylor Jenkins told The Athletic. “We knew that he was going to be a guy who is going to impact winning in a lot of different ways and not just be relegated to a simple role.”
When Morant won the 2022 NBA Most Improved Player award, he tried to give it to Bane. Morant believed the voters overlooked Bane’s performance last season and that his teammate should have won the award.
In his second NBA season, Bane doubled his scoring output from his rookie year, averaging 18.2 points per game in 2021-22. Bane established himself as the Grizzlies’ best sniper from long range, shooting 43% from beyond the arc last season.
John Konchar Next Man Up, JJJ Returns
Jenkins and the Grizzlies will rely heavily on backup shooting guard John Konchar to make up for Bane’s missed offense.
Konchar played his college ball with Purdue and spent the previous three seasons as a bench player with the Grizzlies. He earned the trust of Jenkins this season, starting in five games. He averaged 6.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game this season. He’s shooting 39.6% from 3-point range.
The Grizzlies losing Bane to a toe injury occurred on the same day that Jaren Jackson, Jr. returns to the Grizzlies. The big man missed the start of the season while recovering from a fractured foot and surgery.
The Grizzlies drafted Jackson with the fourth-overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He was plagued with injuries during his first three seasons and appeared in just 11 games in 2020-21 while recovering from knee surgery. A healthy Jackson started 78 games last season, averaging 16.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Betting the Grizzlies
After a 7-3 start to the season, the Grizzlies went 2-2 since last Monday with losses against the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. With a 9-5 record, the Grizzlies are fourth overall in the Western Conference.
The Grizzlies are in first place in the Southwest Division and hold a one-game lead over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks (7-5), and a 1.5-game lead over the New Orleans Pelicans (7-6). The Grizzlies are the consensus betting favorite at +110 odds to win their division in back-to-back seasons.
The Grizzlies are +1600 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship as the seventh-highest team on DraftKings’ futures board. In Western Conference title odds, the Grizzlies are fourth on the board at +700.
The Grizzlies failed to live up to the expectations of bettors and struggled to cover the spread this season. They have a 5-8-1 record against the spread, which is the sixth-worst ATS record in the league.
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