When Blake Griffin went down to the floor and grabbed his knee in Game 5, everyone else I was watching the game with cringed and none of them were Clipper fans. It was simply a human reaction, and not a fan reaction. When Griffin got up from the injury, there was a sigh of relief from everybody I was watching the game with, and then the boos started raining down in Memphis. That was the moment I legitimately hoped that Karma would bite the Grizzlies in the back, and that they would lose Game 7 at home. It happened.
Blake Griffin sat most of the 4th quarter, because his knee was bothering him, and the Clippers’ reserves kept expanding their lead and won a tough game 7 on the road. The bench scored 41 points, which matched the scoring production of the starters. They were giving maximum effort on both ends of the floor, and the game ended with absolutely silent fans. They got either 8 points or at least 8 rebounds from every player who came off the bench, and it was a total team effort to send the Grizzlies fans home in a bad mood.
The Clippers now appear to have a 10-man rotation, every man of which they will trust with about 20 minutes a game if needed in that particular game. Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin are bringing playoff-level physicality off the bench, and the Clippers reserve guards are letting it fly with quality jumpers and spark-plugging the Clippers anemic half-court offense. They will need to keep bringing their A-effort against the Spurs if they want to compete in Round 2, and it should be an incredible bench battle between these two teams.