The Memphis Grizzlies will head into Friday’s game on the road at Crypto.com Arena with their season on the line, facing a 2-3 series deficit to LeBron James and company.
As if being down in a first-round series as a second seed wasn’t bad enough for Memphis, the Grizzlies could be without one of their best offensive weapons in Game 6 in Los Angeles.
In Game 5, sharpshooter Luke Kennard suffered a shoulder injury late in the game and didn’t return to the floor as a result.
Ahead of Game 6 on Friday, Kennard’s status hasn’t improved as he is still listed as questionable for what could be the last game of the season for the Grizzlies, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Grizzlies wing Luke Kennard has not taken a shot or really even moved that injured left shoulder since media has been allowed into shootaround. He’s listed as questionable for Game 6 tonight.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 28, 2023
Although Kennard has struggled in this series against the Lakers up to this point, the 26-year-old is always a threat from outside, as he shot an impressive 49.4% from beyond the arc during the regular season.
In 18 minutes in Game 5 in Memphis, Kennard finished with six points and five rebounds, which wasn’t the difference but still helped the team get the best of the Lakers to keep from being eliminated.
As per usual, it will come down to the three-headed monster for the Grizzlies to save their season, with the Lakers almost certainly focusing on containing Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane on Friday night in Game 6.
If the Lakers win tonight, they’ll face the winner of the first-round playoff series between the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors and the upstart Sacramento Kings.