Darrell Arthur Too Buff: To Miss 4 Months

Sophomore Darrell Arthur will miss four months after having surgery on a partially torn pectoral muscle, as announced by the Memphis Grizzlies and a multitude of other sources. Arthur has been fighting injury since the summer league, but this particular injury stems from training camp. No source contends that the injury was suffered while getting his swell on at the bench, but I have my suspicions.

This is undoubtedly a loss for the Grizzlies. Yes, the frontcourt isn't exactly thin, but the Grizzlies also aren't exactly deep with experience. Arthur has some significant experience after starting for much of last season, albeit in short minutes, and should have been Zach Randolph's primary backup at power forward. Arthur is an excellent energy guy and can finish with his athleticism. Though he's still raw, he is full-sized and his game is a nice counter to Zach Randolph in terms of skills brought to the table. I was excited to see what Arthur could do with a mandate of "get in, jump around, break bones, block shots, foul freely."

Also this probably will push up the minutes for Marcus Williams, since Young will probably drop out of the guard rotation to back up small forward and DeMarre Carroll will play backup power forward in his stead. I'm not of the opinion that DeMarre is particularly effective at the power forward against traditional opponents, because he doesn't quite stretch the floor or dribble-drive well enough to exploit matchups a la Rashard Lewis.

On the plus side Arthur's injury will give the rookies about 20 minutes per game to show their stuff. I see Thabeet being the biggest beneficiary in terms of playing time -- this could be a twin towers opportunity. DeMarre Carroll has already more than earned rotation minutes, and I suspect the level of run Sam Young gets will continue to depend on how hot his hand is that night, since he's largely still inconsistent and using too many shots some nights.

Still don't make any mistake, Arthur was ready to make the jump to a major contributor off the bench, and I have no doubt that the rookies won't outproduce him with those minutes. Over the course of four months, I see the Grizzlies losing a couple wins to the injury.

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