MINNEAPOLIS A week ago, Marc Gasol was sidelined with an abdominal tear.
He was out until the playoffs, most likely, was the word around the NBA, and the Grizzlies suddenly looked a bit less steady. They'd make it, but they wouldn't be the force they'd been all season with their star big man, a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year and perhaps even the best center in the league of late.
When Rick Adelman was planning for this game, he admits, there was a time when he planned for no Gasol. He planned for Nikola Pekovic, healthy since March 17, and he planned for once to have an advantage over Memphis in the paint.
But in a twist the Timberwolves have grown to be familiar with this season, that was not to be the case. Gasol returned from his injury the one that was supposed to keep him out for the good part of a month on Wednesday after two games on the bench, and Pekovic sprained his left ankle Friday night.
Advantage, Grizzlies, once again.
It would be easy to say that ...