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As if the preseason loss of power forward Darrell Arthur to an Achilles injury wasn't enough, the Grizzlies also lost their closest thing to a star, Zach Randolph, for significant time due to a torn MCL.
This led to the acquisition of forward/center Marreese Speights from the Philadelphia 76ers, who has filled in admirably for Randolph, averaging career highs in minutes, points and rebounds.
However, the real reason that the Grizzlies have been able to stay afloat during this tough stretch has been due to the stellar play of emerging All-Star, center Marc Gasol.
Averaging career highs in points (15.5), rebounds (9.6) and blocks (1.8), Gasol received his first All-Star Game bid this season and has finally seemed to have emerged from the shadow of older brother and perennial All-Star Pau Gasol.
But the season Gasol is having should be no surprise to anyone who watched the Grizzlies in the NBA playoffs last season, when he averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds to go with two blocks.
He seemed to have gained a lot of confidence from that playoff run, and he should look to pick up where he left off this postseason.
With the recent return of Z-Bo to the Grizzlies lineup, the emergence of Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies' added depth, this frontcourt should be lethal come playoff time.