MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The injury bug taking a bite out of another Grizzlies player on the eve of Wednesday’s season opener against New Orleans.
Already without Steven Adams, the Grizzlies will play the Pelicans minus Santi Aldama, who turned an ankle in practice and is considered day-to-day.
So the pressure ramps up for guys like Xavier Tillman, who will likely step into the starting role usually occupied by Adams. It’s something Tillman did 29 times last year after Adams went down with that knee injury.
Tillman, part of the depth on this team that will be put to the test, right from the season’s opening tip.
“For me, it’s an opportunity to help our team win. For me, I just got to just step up in any way that I see fit. Whether that’s on the rebounding end or the defensive end or on the offensive end, just figuring out where I can fit in and leave an impact,” Tillman said. “This year, I’m more versatile. I trust the work that I put into where I don’t have to be the primary screener all the time. Being able to let J.J. (Jaren Jackson Jr.) go screen and I’m gonna go sit in the corner and, if my man wants to help, make him pay for like that.”
Tip time between the Grizzlies and Pelicans is set for 7 p.m.