Clips, Grizz Making Some Noise

 

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Before the season began, we looked at the Western Conference and circled the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder as title contenders.

The Spurs are doing their part, even though they have some of the same defensive issues as they had last year and Manu Ginobili isn’t 100 percent. The Thunder are hanging around, though they’ve benefited from a lot of early games against bad Eastern Conference teams.

The Lakers’ issues have been discussed plenty enough, and we’ll just have to be patient to see what kind of team they are under Mike D’Antoni. For now, any changes in the Western Conference hierarchy are more about the teams that have put themselves in the contender discussion, rather than the teams that have taken themselves out of it (at least temporarily).

Wednesday’s ESPN double-header was perfect to showcase the emergence of both the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers as they knocked off last season’s Finals teams in impressive fashion.

The Grizz are now 6-1 and rank in the top six in both offensive (fifth) and defensive (sixth) efficiency after Wednesday’s win over the Thunder. The defense isn’t a surprise, but the offensive improvement (they ranked 21st on that end last year) has been eye-opening … and reason to believe that Memphis needs to be included in any discussion about the best teams in the West.

Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal has the story from Oklahoma City

The Grizzlies led by 10 points with three minutes left and their offensive unison remained on display as they put away the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Rudy Gay elevated for a jump shot at the foul line but passed off to Marc Gasol near the basket. Gasol quickly delivered a bounce pass to Zach Randolph, who calmly scored an uncontested layup.

After a slow start, the Grizzlies ran in overdrive and kept the Thunder off balance with their offensive execution before earning a 107-97 victory Wednesday night in Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Gay’s 28 points helped the Griz (6-1) continue their franchise-best start by earning a sixth straight victory. Memphis’ only loss came on opening night at the Los Angeles Clippers.

“We’re a tough team,” Gay said. “They’re a tough team too. But we’re just as tough, if not tougher.”

Later on Wednesday, the Clippers took care of the champs with a big third quarter at Staples Center. They’re the best team in L.A. and have the second-best point differential in the league (behind only the Knicks).

T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times believes that, in the irony of all ironies, the Clippers are now L.A.’s model franchise

What an exciting night, and it’s all about basketball.

It’s been nothing but chaos, dysfunctional management and poor public relations around here the last few days, so what a relief to spend some time with the Clippers.

It never fails to amaze how some franchises just can’t get it right.

Here are the Lakers, going on their third coach in the time Vinny Del Negro has been here with the Clippers.

“I know that,” says Clippers owner Donald Sterling, stability, I guess, just something you take for granted.

“We have a good coach, good staff and I love the team,” says Sterling. “I feel wonderful about it.”

If only the Lakers could feel the same, Los Angeles so much better off when it has two quality franchises.

Highest point differential per 100 possessions, 2012-13

Team W L OffRtg Rank DefRtg Rank NetRtg
New York 5 0 111.3 1 93.6 1 +17.7
L.A. Clippers 6 2 106.5 3 97.7 11 +8.8
Memphis 6 1 104.3 5 96.7 6 +7.6
Oklahoma City 6 3 104.1 6 96.7 5 +7.4
Miami 6 3 111.0 2 104.9 27 +6.1

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

23 Comments

  1. YearZeroNIN says:

    Not me. I predicted the top 4 Western Conference teams were going to be: OKC Thunder, SA Spurs, LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies. In THAT order. I predicted the Lakers were not going to make the playoffs. So far, my prediction is turning out to be true. Whether you LA Faker fans wish to admit it or not. ;-)

  2. in miami game i’m always doubt the game of Lewis, Ray Allen, Cole and Haslem. Haslem didn’t do good job against phoenix game, but other three guys always do very bad job that if Miami lose any games because of these guy’s mistake and weakness. you see game against phoenix, they were already in good lead 15 margin this also coach’s partial mistake, he brought in these guys making none score, let an opponents team make 11 score taking the own team to critical condition, they shouldn’t play in Miami team, i really hate these guys…..

  3. E-Dubbz says:

    These same Laker haters will be on the bandwagon by the end of the season, The Lakers have been on a NBA high for so long, this is the other side of the coin but true Laker fans stick with their team all the way through…

  4. Karlo Garcia says:

    Impressive Knicks the only unbeaten team in NBA. Not getting carried away until Stoudimire comes back then i will c how they play.Grizzles r always strong. Gay,Gasol & Randolph r there big 3.

  5. Yave says:

    New York did get better in the off season too. They got a good on ball defender in Ronnie Brewer.They got experienced veterans with J-Kidd and Camby.Now sure we still got to see Carmelo and Amar’e work together on offense but everyone is sleeping on them.People be sayin after they get their first loss they are going to crumble.But I think that the Knicks can end a top 4 seed in the East.So say that the 5-0 start was just the confidence they got when beating Miami by 20.Maybe it was.But if they get the win or even lose in a close game against San Antonio, then at least agree that they got a lot better both with the players and the coach.

  6. John says:

    I have a feeling the Knicks will crumble as soon as their first loss comes up…I think they are still riding that opening night Miami Heat win High!!!!

    I am going to the game in Memphis between Knicks and Grizzlies…and I have no doubt Memphis will kill them!

    • Grizz123 says:

      I think Grizz are best in the west and that the Clippers are second best. Grizz have the best bench and I agree with spurs4life

      • Game Time says:

        Grizzlies have a better frontcourt, but the Clippers bench is the best in the league. Plus Billups isn’t even playing yet and once we get Hill to replace Odom it’ll be a unstoppable team. Oh yeah and of course the best PG CP3.

  7. spurs4life says:

    Everyone needs to settle down on hating the Lakers just yet…DOESNT ANYONE REMEMBER THAT THE VERY GOOD MIAMI HEAT TEAM STARTED THEIR SEASON 5-5 AFTER THE LEBRON AND BOSH ACQUISITIONS???

    SO RELAX!!!! Only time will tell if Lakers made a huge mistake or a brilliant move!!!

    On the other hand…the Grizzlies bench looks amazing!!!!!!!!! In the previous years they only had Mayo to rely on and Arthur…but this year…godness!!! Bayless, Pondexter, Speighs, Arthur (when he gets back), etc etc….Selby was the co-MVP of the summer league and he cant even make the rotation…

    Mark my words…THE GRIZZLIES ARE A LOCK FOR THE CONFERENCE FINALS!!!

  8. Kingk says:

    Still think that the clips are the only team who that can actually contend for the title, but i dont think the heat should worry about last night. Dwade needs to take it easy and heal his foot and they will be fine. Go heat!

  9. Ben says:

    I honestly think the Grizz are going to beat the Knicks on Friday. But by that time, the Knicks will already lose a game to the Spurs

  10. Mohcel says:

    I don’t know bout you guys but the Knicks will be having a problem with the Celtics in the Atlantic.

  11. Clips says:

    It’s crazy finally being able to talk about my favorite team as playoff contenders. What’s also crazy is I don’t see people driving around with their Laker flags like a few months back when the Howard & Nash trade news happened.

  12. Marti says:

    @Loise, you make $27h thats great going girl good for you! My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online, seriously I couldn’t be happier I work when I want and where I want. And with a little effort I easily bring in $35h and sometimes even as much as $85h…heres a good example of what i’m doing, rich45.com

  13. Please click my name! says:

    Actually the most revealing stat in that table is how the Knicks are No.1 offensively and defensively. They are really balling in the Big Apple.

  14. Ricardo says:

    Tears started rolling down my face when I realized that my Knicks are ranked first in Offensive and Defensive ratings. Just three seasons ago they where one of the doormats of the NBA, being used by players like LeBron (still in the Cavaliers ), Kobe and Wade to setup franchise records and triple-doubles against them.
    This is a statement to Donnie Walsh management capabilities (although he was against the Melo trade from Denver) and his uncanny efforts to lift the Isaiah Thomas curse from this franchise.

    • noit says:

      to burst your bubble, and hopefully stop the tears (lol), knicks don’t have the number defensive rating in the league. just top differntial.

    • Luke says:

      Yeah, just wait till Amare gets back and messes it up.

    • Reef11 says:

      Plz, they’re only 5 gms in the season

    • Kamote says:

      Its just 5 games… 5 games out of 82… not even counting in the playoffs where they’ve been just disappointing… sorry to burst your bubble, but the knicks could use the whole year just to prove they’re worth the championship consideration (and its a bonus that they’re from new york).

  15. Kamote says:

    This is the first year where Rudy Gay and ZBo are healthy playing together. Hopefully no injuries would come in the playoffs. I’d really want to see how deep this team can go in full health.

  16. Kamote says:

    nah, water under the bridge… and i really to think that mayo wouldve been better somewhere else. much like the conversation years ago of what if Nash and Dirk are still in Dallas. Mayo is better where he’s at as the Griz are w/o him :).