|Western Conference - Round 1 - Best of 7 - Game 1|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+1.8||4-1||1-4||90.4||45.4||42.2%||55.0||82.2||42.2||38.4%||53.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||93.4||47.6||36-81||44.4%||5-14||34.5%||16-21||77.3%||51||13||21||20||9||13||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.8||49.7||37-82||45.4%||7-20||36.0%||17-22||75.4%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||93.6||47.7||36-80||45.0%||5-14||33.9%||17-22||76.8%||49||12||22||21||9||13||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||89.3||45.6||34-77||43.5%||6-18||33.8%||16-21||74.8%||48||10||19||20||7||15||5|
|vs opponents averaging||98.9||49.7||37-82||45.5%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.4%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||91.6||46.3||34-77||44.4%||7-19||35.8%||17-22||76.2%||47||10||21||20||7||14||5|
|Last 5 Games||5-0||+4.2||2-2||2-3||100.6||52.0||49.0%||53.0||92.0||44.0||41.6%||49.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||101.1||51.5||39-81||47.8%||8-21||35.8%||16-23||71.1%||50||11||24||21||10||14||6|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.5||49.5||37-82||45.4%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.4%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||104.1||53.3||40-81||49.3%||8-22||37.2%||16-22||72.8%||50||11||26||21||10||14||6|
|Stats Against (All Games)||94.6||47.9||35-78||44.3%||8-21||37.3%||18-24||74.9%||48||11||22||21||7||15||4|
|vs opponents averaging||98.4||49.4||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.6%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||93.3||47.5||34-78||43.8%||7-21||35.4%||18-24||75.6%||47||11||23||20||7||16||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: MEMPHIS 96, LA CLIPPERS 95.6|
|3/13/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||96-85||W||7||W||185||U||37-68||54.4%||38||12||31-72||43.1%||40||12|
|3/22/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS||83-90||L||-6||L||178.5||U||30-73||41.1%||38||11||36-76||47.4%||54||15|
|3/27/2013||@ NEW YORK||101-108||L||0||L||184.5||O||33-70||47.1%||46||16||38-74||51.4%||36||11|
|4/5/2013||@ LA LAKERS||84-86||L||2||T||189.5||U||38-86||44.2%||40||7||34-74||45.9%||55||18|
|4/20/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/22/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/25/2013||LA CLIPPERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/27/2013||LA CLIPPERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|3/27/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS||105-91||W||-5.5||W||188||O||34-73||46.6%||42||9||35-71||49.3%||44||11|
|3/29/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO||102-104||L||4||W||198||O||41-81||50.6%||49||9||39-74||52.7%||36||9|
|4/12/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS||96-93||W||-9||L||192||U||35-78||44.9%||55||12||35-83||42.2%||60||12|
|4/20/2013||MEMPHIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/22/2013||MEMPHIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/25/2013||@ MEMPHIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/27/2013||@ MEMPHIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|MEMPHIS: GUARDS: The Grizzlies will scale back MIKE CONLEY's minutes a bit. He's a quality starting point guard, but seemed to lose some pep as last season wore on . . . TONY ALLEN figures to see more playing time now that O.J. Mayo is gone. He's an outstanding defender who will be the fifth option on offense . . . JERRYD BAYLESS figures to become the new sixth man and Allen platoon partner. He'll also spell Conley at the point, leading to solid minutes for the combo guard . . . Second-year man JOSH SELBY has a chance for a rotation spot after starring in the Summer League. He has big offensive upside . . . WAYNE ELLINGTON seems like an emergency plan for the second unit . . . This is likely a redshirt year for talented, but erratic, rookie TONY WROTEN. FORWARDS: RUDY GAY is going to lead the Grizzlies in touches and shots. He's not shy about looking for iso situations . . . ZACH RANDOLPH had trouble getting back into the flow after his knee injury. It's always been a fragile balance with Z-Bo, and he could be an odd man out going forward . . . MARREESE SPEIGHTS should be the offensive focal point of the bench unit as their sixth man . . . QUINCY PONDEXTER is a versatile defensive piece who will see solid minutes off the bench. He's a non-factor offensively, though . . . DARRELL ARTHUR suffered a non-displaced fractured in his leg in late September, and will not likely be ready when the season begins. A rising young big, his role will depend on when his athleticism comes back. CENTERS: The Grizzlies are at their best when MARC GASOL is getting touches and shots on the offensive end. Whether or not Gay and Randolph are willing to share is a concern, but Gasol has to be aggressive when the ball is in his hands . . . HAMED HADDADI will continue to play limited minutes off the bench.|
|LA CLIPPERS: GUARDS: CHRIS PAUL was every bit an MVP-caliber player in his first year in L.A. They should monitor his minutes late in the regular season to keep him fresh for the playoffs. . . His Achilles is on schedule to be healed by December, and CHAUNCEY BILLUPS will start once he's healthy. He's likely to lose athleticism, and his leash could be short if he shoots as poorly as he did last year . . . JAMAL CRAWFORD steps in to lead the second unit. We'll see how quickly his inefficient, shoot-first ways grow stale . . . ERIC BLEDSOE was a stud in the playoffs. He can't play extended minutes alongside Paul, but coach Vinny Del Negro knows he has to get Bledsoe on the floor . . . WILLIE GREEN provides capable depth, but he's on the outside looking in at the rotation. FORWARDS: BLAKE GRIFFIN's knee injury likely isn't serious enough to linger into the season. He's starting to develop some post moves to go along with his dunks . . . CARON BUTLER played hurt for most of last year, but still did enough to nail down a starting job for this season . . . LAMAR ODOM moped his way back to L.A. Don't be surprised if he has a strong bounce-back year, especially considering he'll be the Clippers' best defensive big . . . GRANT HILL could see some starts, but more likely the 40-year-old is pegged for limited minutes . . . MATT BARNES will replace Hill once he injures himself again . . . RONNY TURIAF will provide some of the toughness they lost when Reggie Evans left . . . TREY THOMPKINS will continue to languish on the bench, especially after sitting out the preseason with a knee injury. CENTERS: He can block shots and rebound, but at this point DeANDRE JORDAN is just too much of a defensive liability in space to play 30-plus minutes. That's why the Clippers will often pair Lamar Odom with Blake Griffin in the frontcourt . . . RYAN HOLLINS can also defend the basket and has six fouls to give.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (MEMPHIS-LA CLIPPERS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates. With AP Photos.)
*Grizzlies-Clippers Preview* ============================
By BETH HARRIS AP Sports Writer
Memphis At La Clippers, Game One, 10:30 p.m. EDT
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- In a season of firsts for their franchise, the Los Angeles Clippers are opening the playoffs with a familiar foe.
Only this time, they own home-court advantage against the Memphis Grizzlies. Both teams finished the regular season with identical 56-26 records and tied for fourth in the Western Conference.
Game 1 is Saturday night at Staples Center.
A year ago, the Clippers opened at Memphis and fell into a 27-point hole. They rallied to tie an NBA record for largest deficit overcome in the fourth quarter and won by one point.
"That game was crazy," Chauncey Billups, who was injured and watched from the bench, said Friday. "Safe to say that probably won't happen again."
Then, the Clippers won a Game 7 for the first time in franchise history in Memphis to advance.
"The biggest thing we have this year is more experience," All-Star guard Chris Paul said.
Billups is back in the lineup after missing chunks of the season with various injuries, most recently a strained groin. Coach Vinny Del Negro said Billups will be limited to 20-some minutes.
"I'm excited to be out here and not have to watch in a suit," he said. "We really grew up a lot during that playoff series last year."
Especially All-Star Blake Griffin, who got 11 playoff games under his belt last season before the Clippers were swept by San Antonio.
Griffin practiced Friday and received treatment on his back for the spasms that affected him in the regular-season finale.
"It's still a little tender, but it's not as bad as the other night," he said.
His back locked up while shooting before the game at Sacramento on Wednesday, but he was able to make two big plays at the end of the Clippers' four-point win.
Griffin will need to be at his best to handle All-Star counterpart Zach Randolph, known as an agitator.
"That's his whole M.O. is to frustrate guys, do his thing under the basket," Griffin said. "I like to play physical, too. I don't think I've lost my cool going against him yet."
Randolph was the league's fourth-leading rebounder with 11.2 per game. Griffin averaged 8.3.
"We need Blake to play at a high level and be smart about it," Del Negro said.
Randolph had just returned from an injury before last year's opening round series.
"I wasn't 100 percent last year. I'm healthy this year," he said. "My body feels good, and my confidence is up, so we're going to go play."
The Clippers won the season series 3-1 this year, including two wins in Memphis.
"It's teams that know each other so well, it's going to be on small details and small things in the game," Grizzlies center Marc Gasol said.
Paul expects to see the same physical style that the teams played in the regular season.
"We got to pick up the tempo and stay out of foul trouble," he said. "If we play the way we know to play we don't have to worry about what they do. We can impose our will. It's the execution. Once we get stops and get out in transition, we're tough to stop."
Paul is the obvious target for the Grizzlies' defense since he orchestrates the Clippers' offense, whether it's alley-oop passes for dunks by Griffin and DeAndre Jordan or setting up Jamal Crawford for a 3-pointer or creating his own shot.
"We basically just want just corral him and try to force him to make tough shots," Grizzlies guard Tony Allen said. "We know he's an All-Star, and we're definitely going to have to have our antennas up when he's on the floor."
The Grizzlies' starting lineup is the same as last year with the exception of Tayshaun Prince, who replaced Rudy Gay after a midseason trade. Their bench is different, with the additions of Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis and Austin Daye, along with recent pickup former Clipper Keyon Dooling.
Paul downplayed the perceived dislike the two teams have for each other.
"I don't know too many of them personally," he said. "I just want to beat you. I don't care about you off the court."
|Last Updated: 12/18/2014 3:17:47 AM EST|