* Tonight on ESPN: Wizards vs. Grizzlies (9:30 ET)
The Memphis Grizzlies have one of the easiest schedules in the Western Conference in January. Whether or not they can make up the ground they’ve lost in the playoff chase remains to be seen, but as of this morning they are 7 1/2 games out from the No. 8 seed.
Injuries have been an issue for the Grizzlies most of the season, with star point guard Mike Conley out since mid-November with heel and Achilles issues. In late November, it was thought he was 2-3 weeks away from playing again — but his return to the lineup hasn’t happened yet. Additionally, forward Chandler Parsons has been dealing with soreness in his right knee and has missed the team’s last three games.
Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal has some potential good news for Grizzlies fans, though, even as Conley and Parsons mend:
Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley went through a limited contact practice Thursday afternoon but there still is no timetable for his possible return.
Memphis also will be without forward Chandler Parsons for a fourth straight game Friday night when the Washington Wizards visit FedExForum.
Grizzlies interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff even said he would be surprised if Conley missed the rest of the regular season.
“Obviously, it’s very limited in what he’s doing. (But) he’s taking steps in the right direction,” Bickerstaff said Thursday about Conley. “We’re looking forward to having him back. Chandler did some conditioning stuff. He’s more day-to-day.”
It is plausible that Conley and Parsons could be ready to go by Wednesday. The Grizzlies have four days without a game after their meeting Friday with the Wizards.