There really isn't a chance that Zach Randolph will play on the Grizzlies' current road trip that started with a 110-92 victory at Golden State on Wednesday.
But the fact that Randolph is with the team on the trip, traveling for the first time since he tore a medial collateral ligament in his right knee in early January, is a positive step forward.
On Monday and Tuesday before the Griz left for the road, Randolph participated in his first contact practices. He's wearing a knee brace and Griz team doctors have told him the knee is structurally sound.
"You want to go out there and do what you know you can do, know that it's stable, know that I'm not going to come down and tweak anything," Randolph said. "I have to get comfortable with this brace, because I've never worn a brace before.
"Right now, the biggest things I have to work on are my conditioning and my timing. My skills are still there."
Memphis is 22-12 without Randolph, and he said all he wants to do is come back and fit into the flow.
"The guys have played great, there's a lot of talent out there," Randolph said. "Hopefully, I can come in and give a little more to help them win games."
The Grizzlies get a short break before returning at Phoenix on Saturday.
-The Grizzlies had a season-high 33 assists vs. the Warriors, including assisting on all 13 baskets in the first quarter when they came out of the gate hitting their first 11-of-12 shots.
-Memphis started fast each half against Golden State, starting the game with a 21-4 run and beginning the second half with 11 straight points. For the Griz, it's about working themselves into a defensive frenzy.
"We tend to move the ball better when we're getting after it on defense," Griz guard Mike Conley said. "The way we're moving the ball and communicating on defense has been phenomenal."
-Memphis now has won 11 of its last 13 games and has a six-game winning streak, its second-longest of the year.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We're going to give him as much time as he needs to come back. We've got to be patient." -- Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley on not rushing the injured Zach Randolph back into action.