It’s unclear just how long Conley will be out, but he could miss more than just Game 4. The surgery will repair multiple facial fractures, injuries that occurred when the point guard took an elbow to the head from Blazers guard C.J. McCollum when the two chased after a loose ball in Game 3:
Conley entered the postseason banged up with a foot injury, but he was excellent prior to this latest injury. He’s averaging 16.0 points and 3.7 assists while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three in the series.
The good news for the Grizzlies is that they have a 3-0 cushion heading into Game 4 in Portland. Nick Calathes played well in an increased role in Game 3 after Conley went down, and Beno Udrih is expected to return to the lineup after sitting out Game 3 with an ankle injury. Udrih was a surprise contributor in Games 1 and 2.
Calathes and Udrih aren’t on Conley’s level, but if they can just be steady, Memphis could easily win Game 4 against a Blazers team that has been awful in this series. Conley and the Grizzlies could then rest up for a second-round showdown against the Golden State Warriors.