If there’s one thing that we know for sure, it’s that the Clippers are capable of handling a lot of pressure. For example, Chris Paul lead them to a huge comeback last year in the playoffs, were they nearly shut out the best defensive team in the NBA, in the fourth quarter. The panic meter shouldn’t be too high for the Clippers, but then again, they’re coming into Memphis and looking to tie the series up. That’s facing adversity right there.
With that being said, many Clipper players who were excellent in the regular season, such as Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups (kind of), need to step it up right now. This could be the Clippers’ last game of the season, and they’re going to need production from each crucial player. Blake Griffin has played pretty well, Chris Paul is his usual self, and Jamal Crawford is looking more and more like a snub for the sixth man award.
The Flashiness that Butler brings cannot really be ignored. The Clippers need him to throw down some hammer dunks if they want to get some momentum and take some confidence away from the Grizzlies. He may be old, but everyone knows that he’s still a high-riser. He can also hit 3-pointers like no other. When given the open shot, he’ll go 4/4 in a quarter, and make your team look silly. He’s that kind of player. In the playoffs, however, he’s choked and is averaging a mere 7.4 points per game. What gives?
“Billups for three.. HE HIT IT!” What happened to that good old Billups that used to hit game winning half court shots in the NBA Finals? He may have been effected by age, but I guarantee you that he can still produce good number like 13 pointers per game. Unfortunately for the Clippers, he hasn’t really been doing that lately, at all. Willie Green isn’t as effective of course, but Billups is supposed to be a huge upgrade. If the game comes down to a close situation, the Clippers should let Billups handle the basketball.
If these two players chip in more than they’ve been chipping in, the Clippers offense will start to flow. The injury bug is bothersome, yes, but sometimes when it’s the postseason and you’re fighting for your lives, you may want to suffer through your pain. For example, I’m sure Blake Griffin is going to play against Memphis tomorrow night.