Grizzlies Impose Their Will On Clippers

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LOS ANGELES – The beauty has been in taking away the beauty.

The Clippers are a glamorous, fun-to-watch group with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin playing the transition game in the fast lane as the Los Angeles team with a future. Lob City, population: As Many As Can Fit On The Bandwagon.

The Grizzlies, on the other hand, are impressive in the ways that matter this time of the year. They have asserted their will in a way the opponent can not match, or at least has been unable to in several games, the latest example a 103-93 Memphis victory Tuesday night at Staples Center. They have held their composure in a way the Clippers did when the teams met in the 2012 opening round.

It’s been that way all season, really. The Grizzlies had an impressive first half of the season, then invited severe criticism by trading leading scorer Rudy Gay from a team that already had trouble scoring. But Memphis kept winning despite the predictions of doom, just as they have kept winning despite falling into an 0-2 hole against the pyrotechnic Clippers in this series.

There is a toughness about this group, and not just from physical center Marc Gasol and power forward Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies have defined the style of play — it’s a grind — in these last three wins.

“… At the end of the first quarter, we were down two and we even had the lead a couple of times,” coach Lionel Hollins said. “Then the second quarter, we took the tone of the game with our defense and we played with that the rest of the game.”

We are not in Lob City. Blake Griffin was floor-bound Tuesday with a sprained right ankle suffered the day before in practice, managing 20 minutes before being pulled for good in the third quarter (four points on 2-for-7 shooting and five rebounds). But the Clippers are not on the verge of  elimination because of Griffin’s injury. It’s more about what Memphis has done.

Memphis wanted a slower pace and has gotten it the last three games by mostly shutting down the Clippers in transition. Memphis wanted a ball-control, mistake-free offense to play through Gasol and Randolph. The Grizzlies have mostly gotten that, too.

Point guard Mike Conley in the three wins: six assists and two turnovers, 13 assists and two turnovers, 10 assists and no turnovers.

The Grizzlies, overall, in the wins: seven, 13 and 10 turnovers. Thirty miscues in 144 minutes of playoff basketball.

“They really execute their plays,” Clippers guard Chauncey Billups said. “They run their plays all the way through. We know pretty much where they’re going. After the play is over, they dump it down. They’re just a really disciplined team.”

61 Comments

  1. Kk says:

    The grizzlies play a very control game with poise. Go grizz!
    KK

  2. Raúl de López Spain says:

    Im gonna say just this…i ´m a big fan of basketball in General and NBA in particular….

    showing respect to LA Clip , i just have to say that players like Paul and in specific Griffin are not real ballers. Griffin is the most overrated player in the league, he can dunk…..and…..oh wait….he just can dunk….he has no that natural talent that other big man´s have, he is just a Vince carter type of guy that like to jump, dunk, and try to intimidate other players with his post – face dunk. If u compare him to Marc Gasol and Randolph he is way worst than them in basketball quality terms.

    Apart of Griffin LA Clip has nothing to offer, no big real ballers. In regular season they did a good job but more cuz the other teams were just waiting for playoffs.

    Menphis did a great job….playing like a TEAM, with the best – beast couple big men in the game today. Gasol can shoot the ball from 3 – 4 meters, best denfender, and randolph its just a beast, nice moves, left handed, top 3 center actually, and with the help of the rest of the team, even knowing they may not go over the spurs, its a prety good team, that have been doing things really good,

    im sorry for Clippers fan, because griffin can jump, but this is not athletics, this is basketball, without his phisical condition he has nothing, and the team lose that attention, and with the pressure they are just a good regular season team, not a playoff team at all,

    Shout out from Spain to all who like basketball,

  3. Raúl de López Spain says:

    Im gonna say just this…i ´m a big fan of basketball in General and NBA in particular….

    showing respect to LA Clip , i just have to say that players like Paul and in specific Griffin are not real ballers. Griffin is the most overrated player in the league, he can dunks…..and…..oh wait….he can dunk….he has no that natural talent that other big man´s have, he is just a Vinve carter type of guy that like to jump. dunk, and try to intimidate other players with his post face dunk. If u compare him to Marc Gasol and Randolph he is way worst than them in basketball quality terms.

    Apart of that ´s all Clip has to offer, no big time – dunks -no game at all. In regular season ok they did a good job but more cuz the other teams were just waiting for playoffs.

    Menphis did a great job….playing like a TEAM, with the best – beast couple big man in the game today. Gaso can shoot the ball from 3 – 4 meters, best denfender, and randolph its just a beast, nice moves, left handed, top 3 center actually, and with the help of the rest of the team, even knowim they may not go over the spurs, its a prety good team, that have been doing thing really good,

    im sorry for Clippers fan, becase griffin can jump, but this is not athletics, this is basketball, without his phisical condition he has nothing, and the team lose that attention, and with the pressure they are just a good regular season team, not a playoff team at all,

    Shout out from Spain to all yall who like basketball,

  4. Tyw24 says:

    Grizz 4-2 end of discussion

  5. Mark says:

    Yeah, Lakers Out, Clippers Out. I’m out and so is half of the playoff’s ratings. It’s all but a given, Miami will win the championship.

  6. El Duran says:

    Lob City shall be Sob City yet again, I decided.

  7. LAC-Fan says:

    Watching the Grizzlies win is painful. Not just because I’m a Clippers fan, but because I’m a fan of the NBA. There’s a reason millions of people worldwide tune-in to watch NBA playoffs, highlights, etc, and it has very little to do with Zac and Marc. Ground-bound behemoths “grinding it out” might excite purists and Grizzly fans, but should they continue to the next round it sends a dangerous message to the rest of the world. It’s saying that “ugly-ball” is better than everything fans of the NBA care about: like ankle-breaking crossovers and monster jams. That pure talent, finesse, and skill can be bludgeoned by the mundane, suffocated by those of lesser gifts.
    Taken to its logical conclusion, ahem, the NBA will further deteriorate to the point that it resembles, no mirrors, the Euro leagues: wonderful execution, impenetrable zone defences, the death of imagination and creativity. And with imaginations no longer excited, millions across America (and worldwide) will discontinue their support and turn to baseball, football or, heaven forbid, soccer.
    So pray with me, people. NBA fans unite. For the beauty of the game, for our very way of life, let’s get behind our Clippers and send the Grizzlies back to the 1980s where they belong!!!

    • Brent Newsom says:

      Dude have you lost your mind! GNG is beautiful and I’m no purist. Grit and Grind is great. Watching our defense play is a work of art. Just like in NFL I love to see good defense….and remember this Defense wins championships!!!

  8. edwin says:

    I think the clippers are being outcoach, great coaches make adjustments to win games, especially in playoffs. They are being outrebounded and vinny played small ball with griffin with a bad ankle at center and crawford at small forward? cmon give me a break. How about taking out paul when conley is being rested and play big with crawford, grant or barnes at 2, griffin at 3 odom at 4 and jordan at center. I really think grant hill should be playing in this series. I dont see vinny coaching the clippers next season.

  9. LAC will make a comeback on game 6 with or without Griffin and the game 7 will be on home to finish the Grizz like the last year!

  10. Lets see the Clips comeback in game 6 to tie the series 3-3 and then go home to the Staples to finish this bears like the last year!

  11. HA! says:

    LAC trying to lose this series because of the fact that LAL got swept. ha!

  12. Snaffy says:

    As a Clippers fan, I desperately hope for them to pull out of the rut they’re in and find a way to win back this series’ momentum, but I also kind of want them to lose so Vinny can finally hit the road like he deserved to so long ago.

  13. BARUCH says:

    clippers are not going away any time soon. blake will come and score over 20 and paul 30, crawford and butler billups will all have in the upper teens. now that the clippers have the presure on them the know they have to dominate and they will. go clips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • TT says:

      At the Grind House?> I don’t think so. At the Clippers practice facility, probably.

  14. Croakus says:

    Should have kept Reggie Evan and Kenyon Martin Stupid Clippers, no match for Gasol and Zack, gone in the 1st round!

  15. baboy says:

    wow people overreact too much.. clips front court got dominated in 2 games and people are talking as if it happens all the time.. relax people and dont count the clips out yet..

  16. brand says:

    blake griffin has an ok jumpshot he domintates the paint and has one of the best handles for a powerforwad. the clippers arer slowing the game down and thats what makes grizzlies do better.the clippers really need to get a better coach cause del negro is not a coach he is nothing.

  17. brand says:

    blake griffin has an ok jumpshot he domintates the paint and has one of the best handles for a powerforwad. the clippers arer slowing the game down and thats what makes grizzlies do better.the clippers really need to get a better coach cause del negro is not a coach he is nothing. chris paul has to score 40 points per game in order to win the series which will probably not happen. lamar odom has to become lamar odom on the lakers too.

  18. Chimmy says:

    Don’t ount Clipps out yet, Its never over untill its over.

  19. W/E says:

    Griffin and Jordan are absolutely useless when the pace of the game is slower, Chris Paul gotta leave the Clippers or they should just trade those 2 guys and get a better frontcourt, otherwise they have no hope in the playoffs.

  20. BJ says:

    Z-Bo and Marc were just having their way last night. No one else showed up again. The Clippers are against the ropes now. it doesnt look good. Blake and DJ should be scoring much more than they are.

    What happened early in the season when DJ got 20 points in a couple of games because they were feeding him? why are they not doing that with him? Blake is trying to muscle with Z-Bo and Marc too much. Blake and DJ both should be jumping over these guys. play their style of game and go above the rim. Playing that half court offense with MEM is wearing them out.

  21. Lakers#1 says:

    Flop City – Clippers!

    Grizzlies are playing the best defense in the league. They are tough and resilient! As a Lakers fan I can only envy the defensive effort by the Grizzlies. Tony Allen is like a wet stamp and Randolph is defying the laws of physics. Randolph can’t jump but still gets all the rebounds and his touch is very good.

    CP3 and Crawford can join my Lakers but the rest should stay in Flop City.

  22. saman says:

    clippers just have an amateur coach who couldnt handle that much talent they have this year.now if phill jackson sign with them, thats the clippers i wanna watch.

  23. arbidoss says:

    No they are winning because Zach and Marc are dream shaking they add to death go grizz if Marc is on you can’t guard him

  24. arshdeep toor says:

    memphis is the toughest team in the nba with gasol and randloph simply owning the post there going to make alot of noise in the playoffs with westbrook injured watch out. I think memphis and san antonio have a great chance to beat the heat. Heat will have aloota problems dealing with memphis big mans in the post .. the way there playing im 100% supporting them for the playoffs GO MEMPHIS

  25. DesiOnTheLoose says:

    Grizzlies will Sweep the Spurs in the WCF, I guarantee it.

  26. oldandmad says:

    The playoffs are about defense and slowing the game down. The Grizz are doing that quite well and the Clippers better adjust or they will be done.

  27. Stephone says:

    This has been a great series, just like last year’s seies. The difference from last year & this year is simple, No Rudy Gay. Rudy Gay jacking up shots & getting everybody out of rhythim & not playing team ball. Now since he is no longer with the Grizz, its now a team game. Everybody is playing their rolls & getting the job done. No disrespect to the L.A. Clippers, but 2013, its the MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES TIME!!! & once we get past LAC, OKC, you better get ready. Without Westbrook its going to be very rough ride. Right now OKC without Brian Westbrook is like Harold Melvin without he Blue Notes, they’ll never get the Gold.

    • Brent Newsom says:

      LOL WYS!!! but don’t count out Houston just yet. They may pull off a miracle in that series. Truthfully I would rather play OKC with no Westbrook than a Houston team who routed us a couple times this year. They like to run and shoot alot fo 3’s. I think we would still beat them. The only team I’m worried about is the Spurs!

  28. eris says:

    ok, “sob city” made me laugh. kudos

  29. BraD says:

    Wow i hit the submit comment button one two many times. lol

  30. BraD says:

    all the way lol. not are the way. GO GRIZZ

  31. BraD says:

    I mean all the way lol

  32. BraD says:

    Grizzlies are the way!!!!!! Championship

  33. BraD says:

    Grizzlies are the way!!!!!! Championship

  34. Gizzard says:

    Not sure how the author can make a blanket statement about his opinion:
    “The Grizzlies aren’t winning because Blake Griffin is hurt, its about what they are doing…”
    I disagree. Had Griffin been healthy and playing as dominant as he had been at home in games 1 and 2, this would have been an entirely differrent ball game.

    • AckWrite says:

      But Griffin only got hurt at the beginning of Game 5, sorry Bro but Memphis just made adjustments to their game plan and they’ve made it really hard on the Clippers. And just IMO Randolph and Gasol are just better front court players than Griffin and Jordan. If the Clips big men want to get better they’re going to need to spend the summer with Hakeem or Kareem or even Wilt, they need to gain some real offensive moves to go to in the post instead of always relying on their youth which won’t always be so effective especially against reliable disciplined defense.

      • Kremecheez says:

        Deandre worked with Hakeem in the summer. Didn’t translate the problem is Del Negro he isn’t giving enough time for Griffin and DJ to grow. Which also falls on DJS FT shooting. In order to beat the Grizz the clipps have to play fast. I would start Bledsoe at the 2 and Barnes at the 3, also play Turiaf much more than odom on the second unit.

    • lordkrimson says:

      “I disagree. Had Griffin been healthy and playing as dominant as he had been at home in games 1 and 2, this would have been an entirely differrent ball game”, How so? Was he not on the court in game 3 how about game 4, How much of a difference did he make then?….Dont worry I’ll wait…

  35. Shiva says:

    Grizzles will lose to the spurs in the western conference finals.

  36. AJ says:

    griffin’s calves are ginormous

  37. Corey says:

    Hello GrizzNation it is time to stand up and be proud as this year is turning in our favor!

  38. Shawn says:

    What a fantastic game! I love Chris Paul and he played extremely well. Gasol and Randolph are awesome, and as Chauncey said the team executed perfectly. I thought at the beginning of the season the Grizzlies could beat Miami. But, after the trade of Rudy Gaye, i thought it was over. But, they showed last night that they have adjusted in a total team effort. I love both these teams and i really don’t want CP to lose, but with Blake hurt now, Its going to be tough. And, with Westbrooke hurt, i think the Grizzles will win the West, and the championship. These bears can handle Lebron (like no other team can), neutralize Bosh and Battier… and hang with DWade. Of course we cannot discount the grit of Chicago (but they would need DRose to contribute to the games, especially with the injuries) and my home team the Knicks, who could pull it off with spot on shooting and a total defensive team effort. These playoffs will be exciting to the end!

  39. tn-grizzle says:

    you people forget about the FLOP rule that played in the Clips favor last year, too. Take that way and the jawing that Paul does on and off the court and the Clips are completely overrated. This win was key, but we still have 4Q to Grind out. Then, hopefully on to the Thunder, rematch for 2 years ago, minus Westbrook. Kinda like two years ago, except, the Thunder will be without Harden and Westbrook. The 2 guys that caused us soooo much problems.

  40. the clippers are not a good team…they dont have a chance agains the grizzlies EVER….I personally don’t even consider them as title contenders….they just got lucky last year that the grizz were so overconfident

    • BJ says:

      the Grizz made some adjustments and now the Clips are on the ropes. Too bad, they beat MEM 13 out of the last 16 games they played agaisnt them. I think MEM is going to be a tough team to beat.

      its going to be a good 2nd round and finals for the west. GSW is playing superb and MEM. thats going to be a great series to watch. The Clips and the Nuggets both have been disappointing.

      • Naren says:

        If you are suggesting that GSW and Memphis play second round, then you are incorrect. If Memphis win, they play OKC and GSW will play San Antonio. Either way both seem to be great series. I am looking forward to MEM vs OKC proviided both win their first rounds.

    • manny says:

      every body seem to forget that the clippers finished the grizzle in 7 games (2012 playoffs). this serious could go ether way and I think that is what happen when to good teams meet in the playoffs.

  41. Carl says:

    Maybe now everyone sees how overrated this team is.

  42. kingk says:

    The clippers bigs cannot compete with Randolph and gasol; griffin getting hurt makes it even worse for them too.

  43. kingk says:

    The raion why the clippers are losing this series is because they their big men cannot compete with Randolph & gasol. Griffin getting hurt doesn’t help the cause either

  44. allaroundballer says:

    I am Blake Griffin fans, I hope his ankle is getting better. He could be next Karl Malone under the right coach, Del Negro does nothing.
    He choose to rotate players and got advantage from his deep roster instead of develop Griffins game. I’d like to do that if Griffin is 35YO. I can’t believe Randolph is dominating so far because Griffin is just the same guy last year.

    Quick transition, let CP3 makes play, giving another punch from fresh bench (mostly Crawford) in the second half. That’s all.
    And when Dell Negro regular plan doesn’t work, he leave it all again to CP3.

    • lol says:

      griffin the next karl malone? NO griffin its a highlight player who can only dunk and if he keeps dunking like this every game he will end up like mcgrady and its a coach job to focus on his roster not in one player

    • W/E says:

      Griffin will NEVER be the next Karl Malone. The guy cant do anything but dunk. I dont see any major improvement in his game really since he was a rookie, he cant post up or shoot the ball.

  45. TT says:

    This is by far the most exciting series that I’ve been watching. What a change in momentum by the Grizzlies! Z-Bo should be called Z-Box as he literally ‘boxed’ out the paint! Marc’s ability to handle the ball is talent to behold. Now Clippers will have to worry about the Grind House, where Clippers have been disappointing on the road in the playoffs thus far. But I’d hope to see a game 7!

    • asdasd says:

      you should pay attention to denver vs gsw series. that’s by far the most exciting series in this playoffs

      • TT says:

        Yeah, I’ve been watching that too. Lights out Curry! It will go to game 7 as well; it’s a Nuggets’ tradition!!

      • LakersWillWin says:

        They are both great series. “It’s like a torture chamber inside!” Best line I heard all night. Marc Gasol and Randolph are pretty intenese. I’ve always been high on Memphis and Indiana, lets see how they are able to make out

  46. arsicolangbayan says:

    I second the motion with you, Mr. Scott. The Grizzlies are living up to their name and letting the Clips suffer from their tenacious defense. And without a reliable half-court set, the Clips will find it hard beating the Grizz in their slow-paced game. And with Griffin doubtful for the next game and Memphis establishing the game pace and momentum, I think it will end on FedEx Forum on Friday.