Grizzlies Have Experience on Their Side





LOS ANGELES – On the night it supposedly became all about Sunday afternoon in Memphis, a final Grizzlies-Clippers showdown to decide who advances to the Western Conference semifinals, it actually became about April and May of 2011.

To move forward to face the Spurs, the Grizzlies know they have the benefit of going backward while the Clippers do not. They know they have the benefit of the experience of last season and having played through tense moments, even a Game 7, and that this Clippers roster has not.

That fact was not lost on Memphis players after their 90-88 victory Friday night at Staples Center tied the first-round series 3-3 and forced a deciding Game 7 in less than two full days at the FedEx Forum, and with good reason. In a matchup that has been delightfully ungrounded – a historic L.A. comeback followed by a Grizzlies win followed by consecutive Clippers wins followed by consecutive Grizzlies wins – Memphis at least has the dependability of having been there before.

It doesn’t really matter now that the Grizzlies lost Game 7 of the second round to the Thunder on the road on May 15, 2011. It matters that Memphis got there in the first place, to the conference semis and then to the very end against a quality opponent while playing without an injured star, Rudy Gay. The Grizzlies, with most of the same players back, know about beating the Spurs in six games in the first round and know about coming back on short rest to win the opener in Oklahoma City and, most of all, know the unique emotions of one contest that decides advancement or vacation.

This Clippers roster knows only the last six games.

“It helps to know each other and trust each other,” Marc Gasol said after a game-high 23 points, along with nine rebounds. “We’ve been through it before. We fell a little short last year in Game 7 against OKC. We felt like a big reason was we were on the road, so it feels good to be at home for the Game 7, even though we know it doesn’t mean much because the game still has to be played and it’s going to be a real tough game.”

Said Zach Randolph: “It helps us. We’ve been through the storm before.”

The Clippers, not surprisingly, don’t see past experience as a major factor – “We didn’t want to go back to Memphis, not until next season sometime, but what can we do about it?” Chris Paul said. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how they handle the moment, just as their comeback for the ages in the opener at the FedEx Forum quickly answered any question of their playoff toughness and resiliency.

Sunday back in Memphis is another chance for L.A. to overcome. And for the Grizzlies to build on 2011.

49 Comments

  1. mang jose says:

    well..all is done series is over!!clippers the victor tonight..see u san antonio spurs on tuesday..that it!!

  2. Leon Miguel says:

    grizz vs. okc west finals..
    i love to see this!!!

  3. Leon Miguel says:

    Grizz will win!!! no doubt about it!

  4. GrizzGrindHouse says:

    As I read this article (http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2012/05/12/first-round-game-7s-usually-not-close/), Grizz has a great chance to win Game 7.

  5. The BeaR says:

    Flop city chick, Flop Flop city chiiick, 10 10 10 20 and a 50 chiiiiick. Clips should be greatful they even got a game 7 out of this series, it should’ve been over in 5. AND THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE..GRIZZ WIN AND BEAT SPURS IN 6.

  6. LakersALLTHEWAY! says:

    Lakers toast the Nuggets.. Nice run by the Nuggets but you can’t beat LA! HAHA!

  7. jdawg says:

    flop city!!

  8. sasquash says:

    And honestly, do you really this the NBA would miss out on making tons of cash off a game 7?
    The refs pushed this to a game 7

  9. sasquash says:

    Refs are on the grizzlies’ side
    why the fluc did reggie evans get a technical

    Grizzlies could pull a point win with paul and griffin half dead, and the refs on their side
    if paul and griffin are in full health by tomorrow, it’s going to be a real quiet memphis game

    Marc Gasol is turning into a wuss like his big brother and randolph is gona get punked by a healthy blake
    No one will give hell to the spurs like the Clippers can

  10. JFY says:

    Go Grizzlies!!!!! From Califonira but chering for you all the way. Griggin has to stay more upright, seems to love to fall down and see if the ref will give him a call. Commentators said the Clippers were a team that loves to flop!! Yep

  11. isko357 says:

    i think the grizzlies is gonna win this one. no matter what it takes them they’re gonna play hard. no l.a teams are going to enter into the 2nd round this year. mike brown needs to reshape his rosters, l.a clippers? sure you have cp3 and blake griffin but it is not enough to win a championship or enter to the second round of playoffs.

  12. olive august says:

    I don’t see how anyone can talk about Clippers not getting calls and technical fouls that weren’t fair. There are bad calls in almost every game. Get over it. Let’s not forget they’ve changed from Lob City to FLOP CITY in this series, and Reggie Evans is the worst one… falling to the floor after barely being touched. I think most teams would not have been able to regroup and get to a game 7 after how the Grizzlies blew that huge lead in game one, but here they are with game 7 at home. They are a very resilient team and will win game 7. Here’s to a Spurs Grizzlies rematch.

  13. Lauren Ivy says:

    I’m sorry, but first of all please check your grammar before posting anything. As for the Clippers, they have had the calls go their way for the majority of this series. The Grizzlies became lazy at the end of game 1 and gave away an easy win. The Clippers have only one by 1 point in 2 or their 3 wins. It’s obvious who the better team is. I cannot wait to see the Grizzlies pull out a win at the Forum tomorrow.

    And all of you who think the Clippers can go further in the Playoffs IF they win this series are simply ignorant. This Clippers team has brought a bunch of actors together and they have received the calls the majority of the series. I am confident the pendulum will not swing their way if they’re able to make it past this round.

    Again, the Grizzlies will win the series tomorrow.

  14. BabaBooey says:

    Clippers WERE Championship material before the injuries to Chauncey Billips and Caron Butler. Now I think they’re struggling to just hang on.

  15. GrizzFan says:

    How are you going to say the refs were on the Grizzlies side. Yea that tech was a horrible call. But the blocking foul when Kenyon Martin dunked was the worst call ever and they counted the basket

  16. JHCT says:

    I still think Dallas can come back and win this thing.

  17. mattman says:

    this has been the most exciting series this postseason..if the clippers can beat the grizzlies today, then they are doing the whole Western Conf a favor…the Grizz can beat the Spurs, and the Grizz can beat OKC or the Lakers..very scary team at the #5 seed…everything that makes the NBA great is embodied in this series: http://www.mindofmattman.com/2012/05/clippers-vs-grizzlies-illustration-of.html

  18. motionless 34 says:

    I still don t get it, why reggie evans got that technical…

  19. kwekujones says:

    grizzlies are an all round team;they play good defence and score just enough points to get the job done. they surely take care of game 7 at home and then go on to ‘de ja vu’ the spurs.lol

  20. tdistor says:

    I love to see Chris Paul crying about refs.

  21. marlon green says:

    Clippers in the finals? Your kidding me right? The Clippers had a perfect opportunity to close out Memphis at home and blew it. And their two best players look hurt and it’s slowing them down. In order for the Clippers to put the Grizzlies down Paul and Griffin have to be healthy and it’s not looking like that right now. It was a good run this year but they are not going to beat the Grizzlies. They Grizzlies have the experiance and the momentum going in their favor right now. And their injury free

  22. clippersfan says:

    thats bull.. the refs totally rigged that game first the technical foul that wasnt a technical then 2 bad calls at the end of the game.. pisses me off they would have won..

  23. Jose (clipper Nation) says:

    Experience makes a difference. Clips made mistakes that cost them the game. Next year they should be where Memphis is right now or better.

  24. kulangot says:

    Memphis will win in this series . Well balanced team 5-6 playes can score double figure.The ball is rotating .And tough defense is the key of their success.. This team is like Sixers less AlStar but dangerous . Good luck Memphis beat San Antonio Spurs in next round..

  25. Edub says:

    L.A teams holding up the 2nd round? Both going a Game 7?

    • Average Joe says:

      If the regular season was just a “regular” season, game 7s wouldn’t have been a problem. But the compressed schedule brought about by the lockout means that the teams are tired when they entered the playoffs in the first place. Playing a protracted series isn’t gonna help a team’s stamina when they face a more rested opponent. Blame it on the lockout, friend.

  26. Belizeboy says:

    Grizzlies have refs on their side…

  27. Brandon Daye says:

    Blake & Paul looked like they were just out for a relaxing Sunday drive or something. If they want to win this series they better show up and play game 7, another great read is http://tinyurl.com/89bftjb and if they do play as they did in tis game no hope for the Clip’s

  28. dattebayo says:

    I predicted a Laker and Clippers 1st Round Exit. I wasn’t far off with both series going the distance :D

    I am rooting for Memphis and the Nuggets, then the following series are a little bit better matched up.

  29. eknujsra says:

    Grizzlies-Spure rematch is gonna be epic…

  30. allaroundballer says:

    Well, now Clippers wish they didn’t loose that homecourt advantage. I still remember until last 2 games of reg season Clippers stay on 4th place. They’ve got so much potential, just stop being sloppy

  31. Sharif says:

    Well, whatever the outcome of game 7, the Clippers, will have the benefit of going backward next season to move forward. Griffin, paul and the rest of the cast will have the benefit of the experience of this season. This will matter, cause they have gone this far, in the first place, against the higher seeded and “experienced” grizzlies.

    And for Memphis, they should learned from the Hawks. Four straight years into the east semis, and now the hawks are already done in the first round. There was always something little missing that prevented them to advance further and become an elite team. Memphis don’t want to become the next Atlanta.

    • KindaLikeTheHeatles says:

      Please do not compare the Memphis Grizzlies to the Hawks, please do not do it !!
      The Grizzlies play tough basketball, they have a team to challenge anyone, and I trully mean anyone. If they faced the most of the East playoff teams, they would be pushing them around, taking in consideration the Bulls lost D. Rose, no one besides Miami and possibly the C’s or Pacers could beat them…

      Tough there’s a game 7 that supposedly makes this series close, in theory, the Clippers are still alive because Hollins wasn’t faithfull to his game plan, that ground and pound we saw in games 5 and 6 would have closed this thing in 5.
      No disrespect for CP3 whom I believe to be the best PG in the league but the Clipps don’t have frontcourt good enough ro compete with Grizzlies, don’t get me wrong, ’cause Griffin is good, and he improved especially this series, but D. Jordan does not rebound or score, besides alley oops, he wanders around to get blocks, and missing Billups doesn’t make ot any easier.

      I trust the Grizzlies to put the Spurs out of their misery, and give a tough, tough run on the Thunder, if they get past Bryant, that inconsisten frontcourt and our “beloved” Chuck Liddell, aka Metta World Peace

      • J says:

        You’re dreaming. If the Grizzlies survive Game 7, they won’t make it past the Spurs. We have very weak teams in the NBA. Nothing like the old Kings and Lakers. Grizzlies won’t get further than the second round. Clippers will play their best ball to give Memphis a tough challenge.

  32. cp3 da best pg says:

    refs should be fined for how they called that game

  33. cj bruton says:

    Chris Paul/Clippers are destined for the championship this year. if history has taught me anything the clippers are a championship pedigree side full of talent. CLIPPERS RISE!!

    • HeatWade says:

      SERIOUSLY? you really mean CHAMPIONSHIP this year? well, that is if they can even get past or reach the WCF…

    • thunderdurant says:

      Clippers winning the championship this year…. biggest joke ive ever heard. Thunder are going all the way this is their year!

    • Swagflu87 says:

      Hahahahahahahahaha u should be a comedian