LA’s first go-round against the Grizzlies didn’t go terribly well Thursday night.
The Clippers didn’t bring any physicality to the game, as Ty Lue repeated ad nauseam during his postgame press conference. They allowed the Grizzlies to score 72 points in the paint — let’s repeat that for emphasis: seventy-two — while only managing 24 themselves. It would be one thing if the Clippers were raining jumpers on the Grizzlies, but they only made one more 3-pointer.
The Clippers also couldn’t turn the Grizzlies over in what is become a disconcerting trend. Memphis only had seven turnovers compared to 14 for LA. While the Grizzlies converted those giveaways into 17 points, the Clippers scored all of one point, part of their grand total of four fast-break points.
It was a bad performance all around, and the fact that all of the team’s biggest issues manifested themselves together was the most unsettling part. The Clippers didn’t put any pressure on the rim, lolly-gagging in the halfcourt, and they were similarly lazy getting back in transition. The high-water mark that the Clippers set against the Jazz when they seemingly moved on a string on both ends of the floor was a pipe dream against Memphis; there was a lot of standing around and pointing, and not a lot of communication.
Fortunately, there is an immediate opportunity for the Clippers to redeem themselves. The Grizzlies shouldn’t make 21-of-43 shots in floater range again or half of their above-the-break threes. But in order to ensure that, the Clippers have to bring some pressure in the defense and a fight that was lacking in the first meeting.
It’s natural to have off days, and one loss means little in the grand scheme of things. Two consecutive no-shows against the same opponent would be far more concerning. Here’s hoping for a better effort tonight.
When: Friday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. PT
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
How to watch/listen: Fox Sports Prime Ticket, ESPN, AM 570 Radio
Opposing perspective: Grizzly Bear Blues
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers (23-10): Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Serge Ibaka, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum
Grizzlies (13-14): Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Jonas Valanciunas, Ja Morant, Grayson Allen
More news for Friday:
- Three more takeaways from Round 1 of Clippers vs. Grizzlies.
- The L.A. Times has an update on the Johnny Wilkes lawsuit against the Clippers.
- This is an interesting look at how fans overrate and underrate players.
- ICMYI: Paul George had some thoughts about this year’s All-Star Game.