CP3 vs. TA: First Round TO Battle?

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The playoffs are just four days away. And with the Sixers’ win in New Jersey on Monday, 15 of the 16 teams have punched their ticket to the postseason.

Only one first round series, Celtics-Hawks is set in stone. But a few more are written in pencil. And one of those is Clippers-Grizzlies, the No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup in the Western Conference.

Clips-Grizz should feature one of the best individual matchups of the postseason: The offense of Chris Paul vs. the defense of Tony Allen.

The Clippers rank fifth in offensive efficiency, mostly because of Paul. They’re scoring 109 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor and just 95 with him on the bench.

The Grizzlies rank seventh in defensive efficiency, mostly because of Allen. They’ve allowed 96 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor and 102 with him on the bench.

One of Paul’s best attributes is his ability to take care of the ball. His assist-turnover ratio of 4.39 ranks second in the league. And as a team, the Clippers rank fourth by turning the ball over just 14.3 times per 100 possessions.

Allen’s best attribute is forcing turnovers. He ranks third in the league (Paul ranks first) with 3.26 steals per 48 minutes. And as a team, the Grizzlies lead the league by forcing 18.2 turnovers per 100 possessions.

On Monday, Allen registered a career-high eight steals in the Grizzlies’ win over the Cavs. Ron Higgins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal has the story

Welcome back Grizzlies’ guard Tony Allen.

Allen, who has struggled since missing five games in early April with mouth lacerations, was back to his typical defensively disruptive self on Monday night.

He jump-started his sluggish playoff-bound teammates with a franchise-record eight steals, getting his final theft with 36.9 seconds left to preserve a 109-101 Griz victory over the Cavaliers in FedExForum.

“The mouth laceration was a big blow to me, but I’m a fighter and I fight back,” said Allen, who also had 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 8 rebounds, after averaging 3.6 points and 3 rebounds while shooting 27.2 percent from the field in his six games since returning from his injury. “There’s no excuses now. I’m ready to grind it out.”

That’s good news for the Grizzlies, who are 40-25 and still in contention to move from fifth place in the Western Conference to fourth place and home-court advantage in the playoffs that start this weekend.

For that to happen, Memphis has to win its lone remaining regular season game at home on Thursday against Orlando while the fourth-place Clippers (40-24) have to lose their last two games tonight at Atlanta and Wednesday at New York. The Clippers won the season series over the Grizzlies, 2-1, and therefore hold the tiebreaker in case both teams tie for fourth.

We’ll find out soon if Paul and Allen will square off in the first round. If they do, it will be the matchup to watch, and turnovers could be the most important stat of the series.


  1. MostVenchPlayer says:

    i wan’t Memphis to reach the finals vs Miami LOL im not dreaming but this gonna be happen!

  2. ZEROtoHERO says:

    ARENAS = redemption………..SPURS VS GRIZZ in round 2, rematch of last year..

  3. Stan says:

    Most exciting team to watch all year has been the clippers. Cippers have the talent to win this series but nobody is picking them. It will be up to DeJay to keep the Grizz out of the paint and not give them easy shots. Reggie Evens needs more playing time, since Kmart joined the Clippers Reggie is only averaging 10 minutes per game and thats not enough. Nick Young is overrated and will not help the Clippers, It will be up to the coach to get more playing time for Reggie to guard post players of the Grizz. Clippers losing homecourt by not being able to win one of their two last games was a big statement that they are not ready to win it this year with the players they had out there trying to help Griffen.

  4. Boothy12 says:

    Until Clippers get rid of BG or DeAndre they will always just be a regular season highlight show. Play-offs ball is much slower as each possession is critical. Unless BG improves his free throws, mid range and low post game (drastically) in the off season, Clippers will never make it past the 2nd round, and especially wont get past the Grizzlies with Gasol, Randolph and a healthy Rudy Gay this year. Memphis in 6.
    Sekou what are your thoughts? Do you think the Clippers athleticism along with a floor general of Chris Paul will be enough to get them out of the first round?

  5. desiontheloose says:

    If there is a cousin/friend or someone who knows CP3 here, can you please tell him he needs to stop flopping and play like a man. Clippers are the new flop city. The Grizz will beat LA in 6, and whoever comes in the 2nd round better come ready cause we remember what happened last season. If the Grizz and spurs do meet up in the finals, I will still take Grizz to win that series. SA has the same players who got beat last year, Memphis improved by getting speights. Arenas is still a good shooter and can put up 10 points easily. Watch out for Speights-BG Matchup, its the one im looking forward too

  6. TTKIN says:

    Although there are plenty of intriguing matchups to begin the playoffs (NY v MIA or NY v CHI; LALv DAL; BOS v ATL), im thinking no doubt THIS will be the best series. 2 teams that will absolutely grind it out to the last seconds of Game 7. I dont think one is better than the other. Ya the CLipps have Chris Paul, but Memphis has that team play that, as we saw last year, can really, really screw with people in the playoffs. if memphis gets by the clippers, they have a good chance to get by SA again this year (for sure would beat Utah), and then it’s the conference finals against OKC where they have a legit shot of winning. All the hype about Memphis is well deserved.

  7. Jose (clipper Nation) says:

    We need to throw the ball in to BG and let him punish the guys who guard him. Use the zone and let Grizzs have there threes. The guys need to pay attention who they guard as well as who has the ball. If they do this I think the can win 4 to 2 in the first round. The flashy dunks need to be kept low.

  8. Scott says:

    CP3 is too fast, and too crafty, for Tony Allen to handle.

  9. Sparhawk says:

    Can only hope to contain him.

  10. RCard says:

    Chris Paul is the best player on both teams. But Memphis is just too deep for the Clips to take the series from them. After Paul there is no one that can get their own shot in the starting lineup. Blake Griffin thrives off fast break points and using athletic moves inside, but his post play and perimeter shot is lacking. Mo Williams is a solid scorer off the bench, after that their bench is mediocre at best. Memphis has Gay, Mayo, Randolph, Arenas, Gasol, and we just picked up Lester Hudson who is a pure scorer. In the end Memphis has too many options which will let their starters rest more than the Clips and that will be the deciding factor. LA will wear Paul out just like new orleans did against la last year.

  11. alberto says:

    I think this will be one of the better first round series there will be. I feel both teams are hungry, memphis has a the thirst from Last year, and I think the clippers young guys along with Paul, have his thirst to go far.. I feel with Chauncy this would not have even been a question the clippers take it..

    I also feel there are 3 things that arent being said here..

    Rudy Gay VS Caron Butler.

    OJ Mayo vs Mo.. who’s bench star will have the most impact..

    Finally.. if Randy Foye is hitting 3’s like he has been, any double on the big men down low, will be harshly punished.

    all and all i think it will be a great series but being a clipper fan for over 20 years, I hope the clippers take it in 6

  12. wyatt says:

    watch the game tape from the grizz-clippers game from a few weeks ago. that is what this series will be like. grizz in 5 or 6. easy.

  13. littleteapot says:

    Tony Allen is a BEAST

  14. Mr man says:

    Clips win simply because Chris Paul will go off!!!!

  15. Chris says:

    Clippers in 6. If you are Memphis, make CP3 give up the ball then you will win the game. however, Chris Paul always have had to deal with double team, good perimeter defenders and still managed to win so…

  16. cowman says:

    are you kidding me? K martin, BG and DeAndre is going to get more rebound than the grizzlies, clips has a better chance to win the series. Even though BG and De Andre is not good at post play but that is not their offensive style. they just do pick and roll and gonna dominate the offensive rebound and posterize you. you gonna double CP3? you must leave BG during the pick and roll and end up uncontested dunk or got dunked on!

  17. memphis says:

    they key stat will be turnovers. if the grizzlies can faorce turnovers then i think they take the series. but if the clippers dont trun it over then they have the edge. also memphis doesnt really have anyone to gaurd blake. speights has done well this season but who know if hes gonna start over zach come playoffs.

    • Chris says:

      Z-bo should start.

      • justplayball says:

        ….yeah , he probably will….BUT he has been outstanding off the bench, so I would not change anything……good luck to all teams !!

      • TTKIN says:

        Dam are they really saying Speights might start over Randolph?!?! Ive been waiting all year to see what Memphis can do in the playoffs this time around! Randolph better start and he better go off the way he did last year!

  18. coolguy1975 says:

    Theres no way memphis wins the west. sure they beat the number 1 seeded spurs last year as the 8 seed but this is a new season and there is no guarantee they will beat the clippers in the first round. I mean durant and westbrook kobe bynum gasol and their new point gaurd paul and griffin sure the grizzlies has some talented players but i just dont see the finals for them this year. But anything is possible in the playoffs just my opinion. Look at the canucks in the NHL i know a different soprt won the presidents trophy with the most points and lost in the first round to the kings in 5 games.

  19. gerger says:

    clippers on 6. Could probably reach 2nd round however not the west finals.

  20. Frank says:


  21. Isaac says:

    Grizzlies offense thrives on generating points off turnovers.. Clippers don’t turn the ball over.. Clippers biggest defensive weakness is guarding the 3 point line.. Memphis doesn’t shoot 3’s very well..

    Great matchup between these two teams.. But I’m pretty sure Clippers take it.. Chris Paul > anyone on the Grizzlies

  22. lakermig says:

    Clips already one loss down and could definitely lose to NYK in NY as for the grizz should def beat the rubbish dwightless magic at home….it would be a super first round and i hope and think the grizzlies will take it.

  23. MTown Bound says:

    Memphis sweeps LAC and wins the west

  24. Bok says:

    I won’t be surprised if Griz will rotate 2 defenders for just for CP3. Pretty much like PIP did on Mark Jackson.

  25. beast says:

    memphis winning the west

    • David says:


    • justplayball says:

      Don’t count your chickens before they hatch…… meaning—–there is only one series…….the one you’re in at the time…. this should be a Great Matchup…..Both teams can play inside out and Both teams have great perimeter players/defenders with high scoring potential. Perimeter defense –advantage Griz…Inside/post play even …or maybe slight edge to the Griz again….. guard play, especially point guard —advantage Clips—Home team advantage by one game…that is how close these two teams are….can’t wait !!!

    • Andre says:

      It would be great to see a team without stars winning it all.

  26. ko0kiE says:

    last time I checked, mike conley was 2nd in steals and is memphis’ point guard.. so I think conley is mainly guarding chris paul..

    • boswell says:

      I think it will be Conley on Paul when Mo Williams is on the floor, but expect Allen to be on him late in the game, and during crucial times……. They need to disrupt Paul, not just make a few steals, and only Allen can do that

    • The Guru says:

      Maybe. Tony Allen will pick up the main perimeter threat who is CP3. Conley will check the likes of Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Nick Young. Either way, the Clippers will benefit a great deal from LOSING this series to Memphis.

      BG and DeAndre3000 will be exposed to the intricacies of post play and realise what they need to do to take the next step.