The Los Angeles Clippers are moving on in the 2012 Playoffs! Clippers fans are not use to seeing their team in the playoffs, let alone winning a game seven on the road to advance to the second round of the playoffs. I hate to admit it, but I did not see the Clippers winning in Memphis. I thought that the Clippers had to win game six at home in order to win the series. After the game six lost, the Grizzlies had all the momentum. They had beaten the Clippers in two straight games and just had to win a home game to advance, on the other side; the Clips let a 3-1 lead slip away and were dealing with injuries to forward Blake Griffin and guard Chris Paul. It was safe to say that the odds were not on the Clippers side. But great teams find a way to defy the odds.
Both teams started the game shooting poorly; by the end of the first quarter the Clippers and Grizzlies were shooting under 30 percent. The shooting could have been contributed to good defense and game seven jitters. The game picked up in the second and third quarter, but players from both teams were still struggling to get into rhythm. Both Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol scored 19 points, but the rest of the players failed to score in double figures. Clippers had three players in double figures; Chris Paul being one and the other two were players from the bench.
Nick Young scored 13 points and Kenyon Martin pitched in with 11 points. The bench was huge in the game. They contributed with over 20 points in the fourth quarter to clinch the game and the series. Eric Bledsoe, Mo Williams, and Reggie Evans all had significant minutes from the bench as well. It feels as if the Clippers are peaking at the right moment. The defense has been outstanding and the bench is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Also we have one of the best closers in the league with CP3. The only concerns are Blake Griffins knee; it might be a problem for the rest of the playoffs and the half court offense.
The half court offense can be stagnant at times. Usually the half court offense consist of CP3 dribbling the ball around for most of the shot clock until something opens up or he has to shoot the ball. What is lacking the most in the Clippers offense is a big man that can shoot a consistent mid range shoot. Blake will have to be that player in the future because those kinds of big’s are not easy to find. Coincidently the Grizzlies had two with Gasol and Zach Randolph.
The Clippers will now face the number one seed San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs might be the best half court team in the playoffs. Then again the Spurs are great in all aspects of the game. I believe the Clippers match up well the Spurs. The key to the series will be rebounding. The Clippers were killed on the boards by the Grizzlies, thankfully Memphis would not always cash in with their second chance opportunities. The Spurs will make the most of their second chance opportunities; they are a team that executes at a high level. I am pumped to see this series. GO CLIPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!