From start to finish the Los Angeles Clippers punched the Memphis Grizzlies in the face. And they did it by playing the Grizzlies game. Game 1 goes to LA. If these antics keep up for the rest of the series, the Clippers will have time to rest everyone after a short series.
Without further ado here are the game grades:
It’s a superstars league. It’s a superstars league. IT’S A SUPERSTARS LEAGUE. And the Clippers have what the Grizzlies don’t: A SUPERSTAR. The first half was him displaying his point guard abilities, but after halftime there were rumors of Paul stepping on an actual Grizzlies next on the sidelines. Fortunately for Paul, Lionel Hollins kept Tony Allen on the bench for most of the game so it was easy pickings for the Point God!
Chauncey Billups & Caron Butler
These two practically played the same role. Spreading the floor for Chris Paul to do his dirty work inside. And they did that outplaying the starting 2-guard and small forward by a LOT. They combined for 27 points (3-7 from three). If they keep this up it’ll be a long (and by long I mean short) series for the Grizzlies.
The box score doesn’t show how good a game Blake had. Offensively he was average. At times you could tell that his back was hampering him (missed dunks, struggling under the basket), but defensively he held his own against Zach Randolph. He gets dropped a letter grade because he fouled out, but in 25 minutes of production he could only do so much.
Playing over 30 minutes in this game is enough to give DJ an A. But that’s more on Vinny Del Negro than Jordan. His work inside on the boards was phenomenal. He finished with 8 rebounds in the game. Z-Bo and Gasol finished with EIGHT REBOUNDS combined. His work on Randolph should also be noted. He’s tall and tall affects Randolph a lot.
He was easily the second best player on the floor tonight. And half of his brilliance was done of the defensive end and boy was he a pest. Credit him for stifling Mike Conley in the 4th quarter when the Grizz had a puncher’s chance of getting the game close. Oh, he also shot 7-7 from the field along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
This wasn’t anything special from Crawford. He was doing nightly Crawford things. He finished with 13 points on 12 shots, but every shot he hit felt like the shot that pushed the Clippers away from a rallying Grizz effort. Also this happened.
This was an awfully quiet game by Barnes. He had his moments throughout the game, but nothing seemed to stick over the course of the game. His 10 points were just some of many that the Grizzlies allowed. Barnes’ tip at the end of the first half may have been quite the mental backbreaker though.
Odom’s night was simple:
The Good – Odom: 7 rebounds, Gasol/Randolph: 8 rebounds. Odom: 3 offensive rebounds. Gasol/Randolph: Zero offensive rebounds.
The Bad – 1-7 FG and the ONLY Clippers player to finish with a negative +/- (-8).
+/- was 11, but if you asked me tomorrow all that Ryan Hollins contributed to tonight’s game I wouldn’t remember. He did have his fair share of solid possessions defending Gasol and Randolph though.
Turiaf was only on the floor because of foul trouble. And he still managed to collect 3 fouls. Oh yeah, and he went 2-2 from the field. Any points from Ronny is ALWAYS a positive thing.