Chris Paul's Healthy Presence Necessary for Clippers Clincher
The first two games in Los Angeles were hotly contested, back-and-forth games, which went to the team with the most clutch player in the postseason thus far: Chris Paul. Not only do NBA fans around the nation now understand how brilliantly talented this PG is, but how he can single handedly break down a very compact and solid defense in Memphis and carry a historically challenged franchise like the Clippers into postseason glory. If he is anywhere near 90% healthy, this game will end like all of the others. He has already proven he hits another gear come fourth quarter. He was one of the best in the fourth during the entire regular season. The Grizzlies have gone fishing in the fourth quarter through five games and it seems as though they are unable to duplicate their strong first halves due to the defensive intensity of L.A. Now, If Vinny Del Negro were not only a great motivator when his team falls behind, but also to begin a game, this Clippers team may blow out every single team they faced. Their lack of energy and urgency to begin games, and sustain it for 48 minutes has been their most glaring issue this series. Relying too heavily on one player can sometimes come back to haunt you, as it did in Game 5 --> without a healthy Chris Paul, their attempt to once again pull off a Miracle in Memphis came up short. Mo Williams has been a tremendous asset to this team all season, however he has played very little PG as Eric Bledsoe has assumed the backup duties due to his active defensive play down the stretch of the season. Williams has played the 2 guard since December 25, 2011 and has excelled in that role, but without Paul to lead the attack with his masterful grasp of the point guard position, the Clippers are S.O.L.