Grizzlies Near Record, Thanks To Injuries

The injury problem facing the Grizzlies is so profound that the NBA has allowed the team to carry 17 players, two more than the standard regular season limit. Nine players are dealing with some sort of ailment, according to, ranging from minor issues that could allow four of them to play in the team’s next game Wednesday against the Timberwolves to Marc Gasol‘s season-ending broken foot.

Still, Memphis is in fifth place in the Western Conference and seven games up on the ninth place Jazz, meaning the Grizzlies are closing in on a remarkable distinction. They’re poised to become the first team in NBA history to make the playoffs in a season in which two dozen or more players appeared in a game, according to Grizzlies spokesperson Ross Wooden (Twitter link). Memphis has used 25 guys through a combination of trades, signings and attrition. That’s significantly more than any other team, including the banged-up Pelicans, whom the league has also allowed to exceed the 15-man roster via hardship. Only the Suns, with 22 players, come close.

Here’s a look at the number of players who’ve played in a game for each team this season, in descending order of volume from the Grizzlies on down. Note that it doesn’t correspond with the number of players who’ve appeared on each team’s roster, since some haven’t made it into games.

  • Grizzlies, 25
  • Suns, 22
  • Nuggets, 19
  • Wizards, 19
  • Clippers, 18
  • Heat, 18
  • Pelicans, 18
  • Rockets, 18
  • Sixers, 18
  • Cavaliers, 17
  • Hawks, 17
  • Hornets, 17
  • Jazz, 17
  • Magic, 17
  • Pistons, 17
  • Spurs, 17
  • Bucks, 16
  • Bulls, 16
  • Knicks, 16
  • Mavericks, 16
  • Nets, 16
  • Raptors, 16
  • Thunder, 16
  • Timberwolves, 16
  • Trail Blazers, 16
  • Warriors, 16
  • Celtics, 15
  • Lakers, 15
  • Pacers, 15
  • Kings, 14
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