Memphis Grizzlies @ L.A. Clippers [Game 2 Preview]
(5) Memphis Grizzlies vs (4) Los Angeles Clippers
Data being processed by simulations, info to come asap.
The Clippers won game one of the series 112-91, and according to many fans and analysts, made a statement by winning so easily. Before the series begun, critics (including myself) questioned whether the Clippers could keep up with the physical style of the Grizzlies. As we all know, possessions get limited in the playoffs and half-court basketball becomes very, very important. What game one showed us was a lack of scoring for the Grizzlies. It was a one point game around the 10:00 mark of the fourth quarter (score was 77-76), and the Clippers went on two huge runs to finish that quarter.
Can Memphis find a way to match those runs in game two?
Rebounding will determine the outcome of this series. Via CBS Sports, game one saw the Clippers grabbed over 67 percent of the total rebounds available; in the regular season, the Grizzlies were second only to Indiana in the rebounding department. Memphis wants to play a grind-it-out type style, and while they were able to slow down the pace of the game to their liking, they weren’t able to take advantage of it due to their lackluster rebounding. Look for both Gasol and Randolph to crash the boards hard early, and make a conscious effort to improve the results of game one.
The rebounding will be a story-line throughout the entire series, but just for tonight, I’ll be looking at how both teams start the game. The Grizzlies shot a miserable 38 percent from the field in the first quarter of game one, while the Clippers shot around 56 percent. Much of that was a result of both Conley and Randolph being in early foul trouble, but if the Grizz want to keep things closer tonight, they can’t start the game committing unnecessary fouls and shooting sub-40%.
From what I saw in game one, the only player the Clippers really can’t match up with is Marc Gasol. A lot has been said about how great of a passer he is for a big man, but game one clearly showed that he might need to take on more of the scoring load for his team. The Clippers scored whenever they wanted to and needed to, and even if we assume that the Memphis defense will adjust, they still might not score enough to win the game. Coach Hollins has to get the ball down to Marc often, and facilitate the offense from there.
Fun Fact: In the last six games between these two teams, the Clippers have won all five that Bledsoe played in (one w/o CP3). LAC’s only loss came when Bledsoe was out.
In game one, the Grizzlies were out-rebounded 47-23. Eric Bledsoe (6 rebs) had as many rebounds as Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol did combined. If the Clips continue that type of dominance on the glass, this will be a very short series. But don’t count on that. Not yet.
If the Lakers are going to steal one of the the first two games, it’ll be game one or nothing. Pop’s coaching acumen will have the Spurs making key adjustments as the series progresses, any slip ups will come early. With all that said, I think Lakers lose this one because of poor three-point D and Howard’s FTs.
Clippers 90 Grizzlies 94