Mike Conley Injury: Jeremy Pargo a Fine Fill-in vs. Rockets, Not Bulls

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIDecember 30, 2011

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 13:  Zach Randolph #50 of the Memphis Grizzlies battles for position as Mike Conley #11 drives past Russell Westbrook #0 and Kendrick Perkins #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 13, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies are fortunate that Mike Conley is only out for two games due to his ankle injury, as reported by The Commercial Appeal. Conley injured his ankle on a kick-out pass to Marc Gasol in the Grizzlies' loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. Jeremy Pargo filled in for Conley at point guard and will stand in for the next two games.

Pargo did just fine for the Grizzlies, providing 15 points and seven assists in place of Conley. That was much better than his five-point, three-turnover debut for the Grizzlies against the San Antonio Spurs, which made Jeremy Pargo look much like his brother, Jannero.

Lionel Hollins was pleased by Pargo's performance. "I saw great quickness," he told The Commercial Appeal in the aforementioned article. "That's what we're looking for in a backup point guard—someone who can come in and change the game a little bit."

Change the game he did. Pargo silenced one of the better point guards in the NBA in Russell Westbrook. Westbrook was 0-of-13 from the field.

That went a long way in keeping the Grizzlies in the game.

One can only wonder how Pargo will do in the next two games filling in for Conley. One has to wonder if he can show a similar level of communication and passing ability to Conley.

The Houston Rockets, visiting Memphis on Friday, won't be too much of a challenge. Kyle Lowry is a decent point guard. He had 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists against the Spurs on Thursday.  Lowry, a sixth-year guard, averages 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. 

He's no Derrick Rose. Pargo should be able to defend him just fine and work around him while passing the ball.

Regarding Rose, Pargo will have to square up with him on Sunday. Pargo will face a very tough challenge in the defending Most Valuable Player. Rose is very creative and is a great defender. As a team, the Bulls are among the best defensive teams.

Pargo likely won't succeed against the Bulls. That'll be a game where the Grizzlies might wish they had Conley healthy.

While Conley's injury might have caused concern on Wednesday night, the Grizzlies came away with a huge relief. Having him out for only two games is not too bad for the Grizzlies, as they are 0-2 heading into the first weekend of the season. 

Pargo faces a significant burden, having to help keep the Grizzlies from slipping to 0-3 or 0-4 with Conley out.