With 8:31 remaining in game six between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, it looked like the San Antonio Spurs would be spending Mother’s Day (Sunday) beginning the second round of the playoffs, as the Clippers led the Grizzlies 76-68. The Grizzlies would muster a huge 12-0 run to retake the lead from the Clippers, and inevitably force a game seven on Sunday, as the Grizzlies defeated the Clippers 90-88.
The Grizzlies held the lead through the majority of the game in game six, and during the game a statistic was shown on the screen by ESPN that said the Grizzlies have held the lead in the series overwhelmingly against the Clippers on a per minute basis. I haven’t watched every single one of their six games, but the one’s that I have watched, it makes me wonder why the Grizzlies haven’t beaten the Clippers yet?
The Clippers made that miraculous 27-point comeback in game one to win by one point, then they won game three by one point, and game four by four points. The Grizzlies win in game two was by seven points, while the win in game five was by 12 points. Overall the Grizzlies have outscored the Clippers 568-553 through six games in the series. With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin hobbled by injuries, the Grizzlies look like they have the better team based on what the numbers have shown.
Paul produces the Clippers’ main offensive attack, but when Mike Conley is able to make it a tough night for Paul, the Clippers really have trouble putting points on the scoreboard. The Grizzlies seem like they have a balanced scoring load as they can go to Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Conley, O.J. Mayo, and even Tony Allen. With Memphis hosting game seven at home, and throwing in the mental mistakes the Clippers made in Staples Center down the stretch in game six, it’s hard to see the Clippers coming out of the Fed Ex Forum with a win.
Should the Grizzlies defeat the Clippers on Sunday, the Spurs will have gotten two more days of rest, but they also may receive a worse draw as the Grizzlies found their winning formula on Friday. Then, the Grizzlies went back to running their offense through their two big men, as Randolph (17 shots) and Gasol (16 shots) combined for 41 points. Gay, deferred to just 14 shots for 13 points, and the Grizzlies were a better team because of it.
If the Grizzlies go back to being a halfcourt team that pounds the ball from the inside-out first, they can be very scary, especially with the discipline they can still possess on defense. The Spurs are set to tip off game one of round two on Tuesday evening against the winner on Sunday, I have a feeling they’ll be getting a rematch with the team that ousted them last year, at least the numbers are pointing toward that matchup.