No Gravatar

When: Thursday, December 5th, 7:00 PM CST
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN

Photo: Danny Johnston / AP Photo

Records: Memphis Grizzlies (9-8), Los Angeles Clippers(12-7)
Media: SportSouth, NBAtv, 92.9 FM, 680 AM
Discuss: 3SOB Twitter Forum, Grizzlies Message Boards

After a decisive win over the Suns which should have provided a huge confidence boost, the Grizzlies play their third game of the year against their bitter rivals the Clippers. They’ve split the first two, and the immense disdain for each other carried by these teams as only increased. With Zach Randolph expected to return to the lineup, the next battle in the ongoing Grizz-Clips war figures to be quite an event.

Expected Starting Lineups:

index.html.jpg

Mike Conley vs Chris Paul
Conley had a strong night against the Suns, putting up 18 points and 14 assists, even if he did it in a somewhat quiet fashion. Through 17 games, Conley is still averaging 183 points a game, which would obliterate his previous career high by a solid four points. Tonight, however, he matches up against the league’s best point guard in CP3. Like him or not – and I know many of you don’t – it’s impossible to deny Paul’ talent, and this might be the best season of his career. With J.J. Redick out, Tony Allen will likely guard Paul for the fair amount of the time, but when he and Crawford are on the court together, it will be Conley’s job to keep CP3 in check.
Advantage: Los Angeles

Tony Allen

Tony Allen vs Willie Green
With Redick out, Willie Green finds his way back in the sarting lineup. He’s a bit of an odd layer to think about – no one really gets excited about him, but he’s a surprisingly reliable spot starter. Still, as discussed in the previous paragraph, Allen will likely spend most of the night guarding CP3 and Jamal Crawford, while Conley and Bayless will likely be put on Green for the most of the game. Green probably won’t explode for a ton of points, but he may hit a few jumpers in a row when no one is looking. That’s kind of his thing.
Advantage: Memphis

Tayshaun Prince vs Jared Dudley
Dudley’s numbers are down a fair bit from his days in Phoenix, but that has more to do with a change in his role than a decrease in his talent. On his mediocre Suns teams, Dudley was a second-or-third option. Now, on this stacked Clippers offense, his shooting opportunities are coming fewer and far between. Dudley shouldn’t be slept on, however – he’s still a strong shooter, and if he is left open, he will make you pay. prince was quietly effective once again on Tuesday, because that’s pretty much his thing these days. I doubt will see too many bursts of offense from Prince, but after his struggles in the playoffs, it’s been a relief to see him be reasonably productive in this offense.
Advantage: Los Angeles

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph vs Blake Griffin
The current word is that Z-Bo will be returning to the lineup for Thursday’s game. Whether or not that turns out to be true will drastically alter how this one plays out. As for this particular matchup, there’s not too much to say about it that hasn’t already been discussed. These are two of the best power forwards in the league, and their battles are always intense. The polar opposites of Z-Bo low-post game, and Griffin’s athleticism always makes for an entertaining clsh in styles. Oh, and they really don’t like each other. Can’t forget that.
Advantage: Memphis 

Marc Gasol

Kosta Koufos vs Deandre Jordan
Koufos has been pretty solid since replacing Marc in the starting lineup, and Tuesday’s game was his best effort yet, as he out up 14 points and 12 rebounds. Koufos’ skills as a rebounder have really helped the team during this stretch. While Koufos lacks the offensive finesse and defensive prowess of Gasol, he is a better rebounder, which has actually helped the Grizzlies offense a fair amount during this stretch. Meanwhile, Jordan is one-dimensional offensive player, but much like Tyson Chandler, he’s completely mastered that one dimension. Look for him to put up a few thunderous dunks tonight, especially since he finally gets a break from playing against Gasol.
Advantage: Los Angeles

Benches:

Jon Leuer! How great was on Tuesday? Every shot was a bit more magical than the last. With Z-Bo back in, Ed Davis will once again be the first big off the bench, meaning Leuer’s minutes will likely go down a fair amount. But hey, at least we know he can play. Despite his offensive burst against the Nets, Quincy Pondexter was held out of the lineup on Tuesday. It’s hard to complain about this considering the Grizzlies margin of victory, but considering how talented he is, it’s certainly perplexing. As for the Clips, Crawford is one of the best sixth men around, but we already know that Tony Allen is capable of neutralizing him. Darren Collison has struggled in his last two stops, but CP3′s backup may be the ideal position for him. The pressure to run the offense is gone, and he can simply focus on utilizing his incredible speed to drive to the basket.
Advantage: Los Angeles

More on the Opponent:
Assessing the Enemy
ClipperBlog

Share →

One Response to Memphis vs LA Clippers – 12/5/13

  1. btrautscNo Gravatar says:

    More Leuer.

    It will be very interesting to see how we try to keep DeAndre from planting himself in the lane. He is an extremely effective rim protector when opposing teams don’t pull him out – which is what Gasol does when he distributes from 15-18 feet.

    Koufos doesn’t have that shot, Leuer does… more minutes!

Leave a Reply