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Who: Memphis Grizzlies vs Los Angeles Clippers
When:  8:30 pm, May 2, 2012
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
Records: Memphis (0-1), Los Angeles (1-0)

 Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com and at the FedEx Forum box office.

Memphis blew a 27 point second half lead in losing game 1 to the Clippers. It’s hard to tell yet what the team and fans should make of this. Should they be encouraged by the team getting a huge 2nd half lead or discouraged that it could all disappear in just 9 minutes of court time? The Grizzlies need to put the loss behind them just like they did after getting blown out by the Clippers in LA in March. After that loss the Grizzlies went on a tear beating LA, Miami, Dallas and Oklahoma City on the way. They will need a similar response in this game or face an almost insurmountable situation. Working on FT shooting wouldn’t hurt either. The Grizzlies 11-18 performance from the line certainly helped the Clippers gain some momentum

Los Angeles stole a win in Game 1 and they are happy for it but there are still some question marks hanging over the Clippers heads. How did the team fall behind by so many points so quickly? How is the team going to respond with Caron Butler out for the playoffs? How really healthy is Chris Paul? The first two questions have yet to be answered but anyone concerned about Chris Paul can relax. He showed he is quite healthy in Game 1. The Clippers bench all had positive +/- ratios in Game while the starters all had negatives. That isn’t likely to continue. The Clippers need to get more production from Foye, Jordan and Griffin to steal both games on the road and take command of the series.

Expected Starting Lineups:

Point Guards: Mike Conley vs Chris Paul

The Paul-Conley match-up was everything it was expected to be and then some in Game 1. Chris Paul was supposed to be slowed by an injured groin and he may have been although anyone looking at his line would be hard pressed to see it. Paul logged 38 minutes scoring 14 points, most in the 4th quarter, and dishing out 11 assists. He also grabbed 4 rebounds and had a steal. Conley was  a surprising 5-5 from the arc on the way to scoring 17 points, dishing out 8 assists against only 1 turnover and grabbing 5 boards. The Grizzlies need Conley to continue to hit the open shot and get the ball to the right man because Paul is only going to get better as the series progresses.
Advantage: Los Angeles

Shooting Guards: Tony Allen vs Randy Foye
 Randy Foye struggled badly in Game 1 and was not a factor in the Clippers come back even after the Grizzlies moved Tony Allen over to guard Chris Paul. His 1-4 line and 3 total points didn’t reflect his poor play as much as the -24 +/- ratio did. Foye’s last bad game came against Atlanta and he followed it up with a 28 point explosion against the Knicks. Memphis can’t assume he will repeat that poor performance in Game 2. Tony Allen wasn’t much better. He failed to record a steal and was called for the foul on Chris Paul at the end of the game that allowed the Clippers to win the game. Allen has not performed well in the playoffs for Memphis and the team needs him to pick it up in Game 2 both against Foye and Paul when called on. It doesn’t help that Allen didn’t practice with the team on Tuesday while getting his knee checked by doctors.
Advantage: Memphis

Small Forwards:  Rudy Gay vs Nick Young

Nick Young was the surprise hero for the Clippers in Game 1. His 19 points (9 in the 4th quarter) helped spark the Clippers back from the dead and his =+/- ratio of +28 led the team. It was most surprising considering that Young was a cumulative -3 since joining the Clippers at the trade deadline. Rudy was solid scoring 19 points, grabbing 7 rebounds but failed to get a steal or a block and was responsible for Young’s open 3 point shots in the fourth. Rudy also missed the potential game winning shot at the buzzer. Rudy is prepared for Young this game as Caron Butler has a broken hand is out for the remainder of the series.
Advantage: Memphis

Power Forwards: Zach Randolph vs Blake Griffin
Zach Randolph didn’t rise to the occasion in the first game this season like he did last season in San Antonio.  Inserted into the starting lineup on the last day of the season Randolph looked flat-footed and slow all night against the younger, stronger and quicker Griffin. Griffin used that speed to get to the rim where he was very effective. It is not known at this time if Hollins will switch the lineup again to put the bigger and faster Speights back into the lineup or not but it is highly likely Speights will see dramatically more minutes than he did in Game 1. Griffin put up decent numbers in the game but was never really a factor outside of some nice dunks for TV. Griffin did make 3 of 4 free throws. It doesn’t sound impressive until you realize that he averages just barely more than 50% from the line.
Advantage: Los Angeles

Centers: Marc Gasol vs DeAndre Jordan
 The biggest fear for Memphis fans heading into game 1 was a passive Gasol in the middle. During last season’s playoff run Marc was right next to Randolph in stepping up his game. For the Grizzlies to advance Gasol needed to dominate Jordan inside. He did in game 1. However the Clippers didn’t use Jordan that much. Gasol scored 14 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists thru 3 quarters but ended the game with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists as the Clippers put a smaller center on Gasol in Reggie Evans. Memphis must go to Gasol and he has to play big for the Grizzlies to rebound in Game 2. Jordan has much less pressure to perform than Gasol but even still he needs to be better than 5 points and 7 boards. Jordan’s two blocks did help however.

Advantage: Memphis

Benches: Memphis vs Los Angeles

Memphis’ bench didn’t put up bad numbers. As a group they were  14-30 shooting including 6-8 from the arc. Speights grabbed 9 rebounds in only 17 and a half minutes of play and O J Mayo was second on the team in scoring. The numbers looked good. However the bench was also a combined -31 as a group in scoring vs the Clippers. Anyone wanting to know what happened need only look at that number. The Clippers bench was dominant in game 1 with Young (+28), Evans (+23) and Bledsoe (+24) leading the way. Young has to move into the starting five so the Clippers bench will be thin but likely ready to rumble again in Game 2. Memphis will need to get more production from Cunningham, Arenas and Pondexter and Mayo needs to control the ball much better (4 turnovers) for the Grizzlies in Game 2. Rumors of Allen being unable to go will weaken the Grizzlies bench as well.
Advantage: Memphis

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13 Responses to Grizzlies vs Clippers – Game 2

  1. RossNo Gravatar says:

    That Conley kid has grown into a real floor general..

  2. jeffNo Gravatar says:

    I really hope we win this game. I just wonder how the fans will act during the start of the game. If they loose this game the series will be all but over. I was at the game on sunday and it felt like my heart was going to fall into the stands, I just hope the players know that they will have to grit and grind both la and the fans. Even though the real fans will still cheer.

  3. AussieGNo Gravatar says:

    It’s amazing to go from securing home court, to leading Game 1 by so many, and now to be in a “must win” situation for Game 2. All in the space of a week or so.

    The stakes are high. Go Grizz.

  4. JmanonbassNo Gravatar says:

    If Rudy plays the same garbage defense as he did Sunday then we’re in trouble. Also if he goes 8/20 on offense we’re in trouble. Honestly, I’d probably just bench him in the 4th quarter. Im tired of seeing the ” pouty, arms down on defense, sulking, dribble the ball for 10 seconds then throw up a brick” Rudy.

  5. GrizRebNo Gravatar says:

    The lose wouldn’t have felt as bad if it was in LA but since we actually secured home court and incredibly blew it, it makes this game 2 that much more important. In addition, it wasn’t the loss that was bothersome but the way we lost. That game meant more than just game 1, if we were to win by the 20+ points then we would have made a statement that this franchise and city are for real; however, the way we lost definitely set us back and played right into the hands of the media. That’s why this city felt like they had their hearts ripped out. A win tonight, better yet, a HUGE win tonight would make the Griz fans and this city proud and would give us something to hang onto. A loss and then this series would seem to be over. I know our Griz are much deeper overall and talent-wise, therefore we need to stick to our game plan and grind it out, run it through the big guys.

  6. GabrielNo Gravatar says:

    If you’re not rooting for the Grizz even more this game then you’re not a true fan. We’re the best in the face of adversity. We blew the game, but it’s over. Jman: Rudy is hands down our best player. The kid has a lot riding on his back trying to replace the glory of Randolph’s run last year. He does need to make adjustments, but he will never be pulled out of a game in the fourth quarter. You gotta support a guy like Rudy because when he gets discouraged, he’s done. I’m gonna be cheering just like I always have tonight. I hope all of y’all will too.

    • HartNo Gravatar says:

      Gabriel “Rudy is hands down our best player”
      Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK7lIjFsGvg

    • GrizzliesDieHardNo Gravatar says:

      Rudy didn’t hustle in transition to defend Young’s three point barrage in the 4th, he took bad shots throughout the game, and he settled for a jumper with a bunch of time remaining in the game. Rudy doesn’t have to be Z-Bo from last season becuase he’s not capable. He needs to share the ball pick his spots, take open shots, and attack when the opportunity presents itself. However, he and ZBO made that an isolation game and ultimately cost us with bad offense and lack of ball movement. We’re at our best playing off of Marc Gasol and making sure the ball moves all over the court. Rudy is never going to be a star he’s just a very talented selfish scorer who pouts and sulks when things don’t go his way.

      • JoelNo Gravatar says:

        first off, it was not only eudy who did not get back on D, it was THE WHOLE DAMN TEAM! i was sitting in the stands for the game, and starting in the second quarter, the Grizz were getting beaten up the floor by the Clips. second, the reason rudy had trouble getting a clean shot off at the end of the game is because HE WAS NOT IN AN ISO SITUATION, usually we give rudy the iso b/c he is so damn good at getting shots over pretty much anyone, but in this case he was collapsed on by 2 players and did not have a clean look. apperently you have not been watching the games this season, which is strange for a “Grizz Die Hard” fan, if you had been watching you should know that Rudy has hit game tying/ game winning shots more often then he has missed this season, so i would not want anyone else shooting that shot, except for maybe OJ. BUT you are correct about Marc, we need him to get the ball more, one shot in the second half by marc is not going to cut it, GIVE MARC THE BALL!!!, then we might not have to worry about Rudy getting a clean look for a possible game winner.

  7. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    Does it seem like Zbo keeps getting the ball poked away from him or he can’t catch it suddenly? He’s always been known for his soft hands. Pick it up Zbo.

  8. JmanonbassNo Gravatar says:

    Agree 1000%, the ball has to get to Gasol first in the half court offense.

  9. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    Is that correct the game is not sold out yet???? Last playoffs they sold out in 15 minutes. That is some fickle fans. Lose by one point and they bolt.

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