Gay out for season; Can Grizz survive?

Things didn’t sound good last Monday when the Hang-Time Grizzlies announced that the results of an MRI on Rudy Gay‘s left shoulder weren’t good enough for him to return to the court. Gay has been out since injuring the shoulder on Feb. 15 (see how it happened above), the Grizzlies’ final game before the All-Star break.

Now comes a report from The Commercial Appeal that Gay will need to have surgery on that shoulder, knocking him out for the rest of the season and, presumably, the playoffs.

Gay received the news after traveling to Birmingham, Ala., to visit renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

“I’ve never really been hurt. I’ve never had anything shut me down,” Gay said. “There’s really no brace or anything I can wear to make it better. I have to have the surgery.”

(UPDATE: The story has been confirmed by the AP, although the date of Gay’s surgery has not been set.)

It’s tough news for the Grizzlies, their fans, and anyone who wanted to see what the Grizz could do at full strength. After signing a new five-year, $84 million contract, Gay was having the best season of his career.


The good news is that Gay is only 24 years old with plenty of big seasons ahead of him, and that the Grizzlies have been doing OK without him, holding strong to the eighth spot in the Western Conference.

What’s interesting is that, since the All-Star break, the Grizzlies are a different team than they were before it. Although they lost a great offensive player in Gay and added a great defensive player in Shane Battier, they’ve actually been much stronger offensively over the last four weeks.

Grizzlies efficiency, 2010-11

Timeframe W L Pct. Pace Rank Off. Eff. Rank Def. Eff. Rank Diff.
Pre-break 31 26 .544 94.8 14 103.0 19 102.4 9 0.6
Post-break 8 6 .571 94.3 17 108.6 7 105.0 16 3.7

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes.

Off. Eff. = Points scored per 100 possessions

Def. Eff. = Points allowed per 100 possessions

The Grizzlies are basically doing everything better offensively. They’re shooting better, rebounding better and even sharing the ball more. But most important may be that they’ve cut down on turnovers.

Grizzlies’ offense

Timeframe EFG% Rank OREB% Rank TORatio Rank FTA Rate Rank AST/FG Rank
Pre-break 48.6% 22 28.1% 6 11.1 16 .296 18 51.5% 30
Post-break 50.7% 11 30.7% 3 9.9 4 .269 21 56.6% 20

EFG% = (FGM + (0.5*3PM))/FGA

OReb% = Off. Reb./(Off. Reb. + Opp. Def. Reb.)

TORatio = Turnovers per 100 possessions

FTA Rate = FTA/FGA

Gay had a turnover rate of 10.7 (he turned the ball over 10.7 times per 100 possessions he used). Some of his minutes have been taken by Battier, who has a turnover rate of 8.4 with Memphis. But since Gay’s injury, both Tony Allen and Sam Young have seen a lot more playing time. And Allen’s turnover rate has gone down from 13.0 before the break to just 9.4 after it. In addition, Mike Conley‘s turnover rate has gone down slightly.

As a result of the decreased turnovers and extra rebounds, the Grizzlies are getting an extra three shots per 100 possessions. Since they’re making more of those shots, they’re that much more efficient.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

(Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace will appear on NBA TV’s “The Beat” at 6 p.m. ET to discuss Gay’s injury, the Grizzlies’ playoff hopes and more.)

40 Comments

  1. JoeX_dvocity.philippines.LOVESlakers says:

    to bad!

  2. Why of Why? says:

    Why are they called the “hang-time grizzlies?”

  3. Alfredo Serrano-Monche says:

    I think the team needs Rudy Gay still yet. He is an important player for the playoff. Good luck Grizzlies! They are a good team, but with Rudy Gay better and dangerous team.

  4. Alfredo Serrano-Monche says:

    I think the team needs gay yet. he is an important player for the playoff. Good luck Grzzlies!

  5. biyatch says:

    Lakes sucks!!!

  6. Smelo SUCKS says:

    I know this is off topic, but why on the front page poll does it say who is the main guy for the Knicks success, what success????

  7. moe says:

    without rudy gay i dont think they’ll survive in the playoffs

  8. Tyler Scherzi says:

    I’m really not a Memphis fan , but they have a great team, and even without Rudy, they could still make the playoffs, and if Tim Duncan is gone, Z-Bo could dominate even more. That being said, losing someone like rudy is Huge. And If Houston, or Phoenix gets hot, they could catch Them. Phoenix has less losses then Memphis and Houston, but not enough wins. Now the bottom of the west gets really interesting.

  9. dadiphatsaks says:

    Let’s face the fact that one player doesn’t make the team, one player can improve a team though. The grizz have pulled together and they play team ball, after all the all are professionals. So let them be professionals and go and win these games for a city that loves them and supports them with or without star players.

  10. lyency says:

    actually it is a good news for Memphis. Gay is a “one man show”, a dunk contest hero, a talented kid with a great future in the Globe Trotters. usually he is celebrating himself banging on his chest each time after jumping out from the Fedex arena through the roof, meanwhile he remains cool, too cool, when his team mate (O.J.Mayo or D.Arthur) does the same. he is the poster guy in Memphis, the most expensive player around… he can make 3 pointers, but he has no clue about defense whatsoever, he is still a promise after years and years. it was a big mistake by coach K to invite him to participate in the US team, however i hoped he will learn something there. no it did not happen…
    the recent starting 5 of the Grizzlies form a TEAM, the bench produces great on the last games, certainly there is a healthy team spirit that Gay cannot spoil being inactive. by the way, he has a great trade value, i hope he will be traded after this season, and wish him an adoring crowd – somewhere else.

  11. i hate evan turner says:

    evan turners good for nothin

  12. SimplyMe says:

    I wish Rudy a speedy recovery but I have faith that the Grizzlies will hold on to the 8th spot and make the playoffs.

  13. REVA says:

    ПРОВАЛ!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Casey Taylor says:

    Hopefully Boston take’s advantage and pulls out a win next game

  15. th1 says:

    Dang, Rudy was on his way to becoming a long time all star in the league, he is defitnely in the top 15 or top 10 players in the league, he is clutch, defensive minded and a good teammate, wish him the best of luck, him and the grizzlies,.

    • Sean says:

      hey do not worry it is not one fo those deadly knee injures that screw the stars careers up
      Gays shoulder will heal and he will continue to be a force in this league
      best of luck and a speedy recovery to him

  16. Jb says:

    yeah rite for real Yao. He is done his career is just like Greg Oden over. Big and tall players that get injured all the time.

  17. McLovin says:

    This is one of the strangest injuries I’ve seen. He’ll be back next season, hopefully with the same touch he had this season.

  18. Hker98 says:

    Best wish to Rudy Gay, hopefully he will recover soon from surgery and surprise some team in the playoff!

  19. j23 says:

    man…it’s never good news when a great player gets injured like this.

    wish he can recover well in the future, and not end up like t-mac or arenas…

  20. Carmelo (seriously, that's my name) says:

    Damn, this sucks. I was looking forward to watching the Grizzlies at full strength in the playoffs. I think they would’ve been a headache for the Spurs. Hopefully they still make the playoffs and can make it an exciting first round.

  21. Tracy McGrady says:

    This guy reminds me of myself.

  22. Brucy Li says:

    Houston will beat Memphis and promote, I insist !!!!!! And hopefully Yao Ming will return….

  23. littlegeneral says:

    The Suns and Houston? Why do you think this automatically rules the Grizzlies out of the 8 spot? Gay hasn’t played for a month and they’ve continued to win games and improve their record.

    This hurts should they reach the Playoffs, but it doesn’t change the situation they’ve been in for a month. In fact, if you actually read the article, you’d have seen this part:

    “What’s interesting is that, since the All-Star break, the Grizzlies are a different team than they were before it. Although they lost a great offensive player in Gay and added a great defensive player in Shane Battier, they’ve actually been much stronger offensively over the last four weeks.”

  24. Vincent says:

    This will surely affect them if they secure the eight spot in the western conference playoffs. Without him can they stand a chance against the Spurs? I don’t think so because no one match up against Ginobile offensively but they can match him up defensively with Allen and Battier and Zach can match up against Duncan on both ends.

  25. Jason says:

    Memphis should still make the playoffs since after these next 3 games their schedule is favorable. I really thought they could upset a team like Dallas and make it into the second round if Gay was healthy though.

  26. greg says:

    Mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This sucks!!!!

  27. Sonson says:

    WTF! Grizz indeed need him for the playoffs.

  28. Ivan says:

    Very sad news. I thought the Grizzlies were a very dangerous team. Hopefully, this is just a rumor and gets back before the Playoffs start.

  29. prix says:

    Now things are getting exciting on the 8th spot in the West…I bet for the Suns rather than Houston…It would definetly a three point shootout between the Suns and the Spurs.. I will not be surprise if the Suns upset the Spurs now that Duncan is sidelined…Grant Hill and Vince Carter and Nash can turn back the time…watch out!!!

  30. igim_tm ph says:

    omg! good luck for your surgery

  31. jopet says:

    I hope he gets back asap.

  32. king says:

    so sad…