Clippers vs Grizzlies.
No introduction needed.
Friday night was what you expected it to be. We love the Grizzlies. We hate the Clippers. It’s a rivalry. There really is nothing else more to say. Or is there Tony Allen? “We don’t like them. They don’t like us.”
Well, I guess that settles it.
Tonight had a little bit of everything. ZBO punishing Blake Griffin. High flying dunks. CP3 Flopping. Double technical. Superstar calls. Officials losing control of the game. The Grindfather making an off balance three pointer. DYNOMITE off the backboard Hammer Slammer. WENDIGO butt slap. #feed50. Miller Time.
But the best part? Streamer Cannons and “All I Do is Win” blasting from Fedex Forum speakers. The Grizzlies won.
What you need to know in stats:
1) Grizzlies trailed 27-21 after 1 quarter. They won each of the final 3 quarters.
2) Clippers were called for 15 fouls, while committing about 40. Grizzlies were called for 30 fouls, while committing about 40.
3) Grizzlies bench scored 43. Clippers bench scored 7. (woof.)
4) Clippers shot 43 FTs and made 27. Grizzlies shot 15 FTs and made 13.
5) Clippers ended the game with 12 second chance points on 4/12 shooting. Grizzlies ended with 6 second chance points on 2/7 shooting.
6) Grizzlies scored 22 points off 12 Clippers turnovers. Clippers scored 9 points off 12 Grizzlies turnovers.
7) Clippers won the rebound battle 47 (13 off) to 42 (6 off).
8) Grizzlies DOMINATED the paint scoring 60 (30/50) to the Clippers 34 (17/35).
9) Clippers won fast break points 19-2.
10) Clippers made only seven 2pt FGs in the second half. They were 6/14 from beyond the arc and 7/26 within the arc, 5/15 in the paint. Grizzlies defense stifled them. 14 of the Clippers 46 points were from the FT line in the second half.
Coach Joerger noted afterwards that he preferred Mike Miller to shoot when he’s in the game. He said “We are better when he plays.” Also noting that Marc Gasol got a wide open lane for a dunk while Miller & Lee spread the floor. Joerger also said he would like to play 8 and a half guys (Marc on 1 leg?) instead of 11. That tonight and tomorrow night against Charlotte are the games for guys to prove themselves.
I think that is ridiculous. You have a talented roster with 12 guys who can add productive minutes at any given time. Depending on the match ups that night, at the least I can see Coach playing 9, but to say he wants to shorten his rotation down to 8 and a half guys is nearly impossible with a banged up Gasol and inconsistent Prince. 10-11 seems best with 1 or 2 of those guys playing less than 10 minutes.
The locker room was upbeat after the game, but also they were pressed for time as the team plays in Charlotte Saturday at 6pm CT. Tonight was a great win. It was a tough win that had much needed production from everyone except Nick Calathes and Ed Davis. But they had an off night. They’re allowed to have those every fifteen games or so. (wink wink)
Marc Gasol isn’t really that healthy, but he fights his tail off. As I wrote in this week’s Friday Morning Five, as long as other players on the floor produce he won’t have to be 100% for the Grizzlies to win games. Tonight though, he and ZBO took advantage of the Clippers lack of interior toughness. ZBO didn’t grab any offensive boards but he snagged 11 total and put up 21 points. Marc had a double double with 17 points and 10 boards.
The Clippers need big men after trading two away Thursday, however, they need quality bangers if they ever hope to beat the Grizzlies in the playoffs. We are their kryptonite. They know it too.
Tony Allen and James Johnson added the spark inserted into the lineup. Those two on the court together are a defensive NIGHTMARE for any team. As long as they both can play with their feet and not with their hands on defense, the #chaosbrothers will wreak havoc worse than Miley Cyrus ever imagined.
Blake Griffin has developed his shot. He can now step back and hit that mid range jumper which makes him much more than a dunker. If only there was a capable big man to take advantage of the paint when Griffin steps out, but, Deandre Jordan. Chris Paul was off tonight with his shot; and his shoulder is still bothering him, yet he managed to dish out 14 ast. JJ Reddick was also injured and did not play. He most certainly adds some depth to their team, but the Clippers have perimeter shooters. We have perimeter defenders. They have no answer for us inside.
I’m not sure what it is about Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin, but they always put on a show against each other. We’ve seen other athletic PFs give ZBO fits at times this season on defense, however, Griffin has never been able to do that. It seems he mentally is not tough enough to endure the battle. Maybe one day he will be, but for now, he can’t handle #feed50.
The double technical given tonight was not on Blake & ZBO, as we’ve become accustomed to, but instead CLee & CP3. CP3 after shooting a FT in the 4th quarter walked back towards center court and mouthed at Lee. Lee took offense at that and wouldn’t back down. Not sure what was said, but it’s safe to say, they won’t be exchanging gifts anytime soon.
The Grizzlies win the season series over the Clippers 2-1. Not that I expect it to matter for tie break purposes, it’s good to have it nonetheless. It most definitely gets into the heads of the Clippers knowing they can’t seem to beat us consistently like they can with other teams.
The crowd tonight was energized down the stretch. It was loud. The place was rocking. Just another warm up to the playoffs. 28 more games left in the mini playoff push season. Grizzlies are 2-0 since the All Star Break. Just keep winning, baby.