May 2, 2013
Memphis Grizzlies beat the LA Clippers to take 3-2 lead
The LA Clippers need to find a bright side to this story in order to make it work.
By Stephen Lars
The LA Clippers need to find a bright side to this story in order to make it work. On the one hand, it is unclear how bad Blake Griffin ankle injury is. We know it was bad enough to keep him from coming back from the 103-93 pounding the Clippers got at the Staples Center from the Memphis Grizzlies last night. On the one hand we know that the Clippers are going to have until Friday night at Memphis to get healthy and find a way to stay alive and win at all cost. After all, the Grizzlies were able to make the most out of Griffins ankle injury and they proved that without their big man, it is very hard to dominate to rebound-game and that’s a vital part of this series. You win the boards you win the game. At least that seems to be a factor in this particular first round playoffs series.
The Clippers are going to need a lot of help from DeAndre Jordan if they hope to be able to give Chris Paul the sort of backup he needs.
The Clippers are going to need a lot of help from DeAndre Jordan if they hope to be able to give Chris Paul the sort of backup he needs. If they managed, with or without Griffin to get back on track and beat the Grizzlies at Memphis, they would force for a game seven at home on Sunday. "We're not going to lay down and we're never going to give up," coach Vinny Del Negro said in the post game press conference. "We're going to play hard, play together and try to do what we can to make it work. We've got to regroup and see how healthy we can get between now and then."
It wasn’t the best timing for the Clippers. On the one hand, LA had managed to win the last 7 games of the regular season and secure home court advantage in the first two rounds of the Playoffs but after the Memphis turned the series around and took a 3-2 lead, they will have to play this decisive game on the road. Chris Paul, as one would expect, guided the losing team’s efforts with 35 points, tying a postseason personal best mark. But it was Blake Griffin’s injury that hurt the team the most. On Monday’s practice run, Griffin step over Lamar Odom and rolled his ankle. They tried to stay optimistic and didn’t report the injury. Griffin, however, only played for 20 minutes, and finished the night with 4 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists and was visibly in pain.
Zach Randolph, on the other hand, has become a clear referent in the Grizzlies offensive lineup. He has been phenomenal in this first round and is a huge part of his team’s latest revival. Randolph finished the night with 25 points and 11 rebounds. They also got 20 points from Mike Conley and 21 from the Spaniard Marc Gasol.
Now, it is up to the Clippers to give it all they’ve got if they hope to survive this series. "It's tough. BG tried to give it a go, like we all knew he would," Chris Paul said to the press. "Right now we're fighting for our lives. It's a tough blow, but what can you do? We've got to find a way to get through it and figure it out. That's what the playoffs are all about.” Let’s see how they do on Friday.
Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the Sports news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS Sportsbook. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.