Clippers vs. Grizzlies: Battle for Home Court
However, this season has been no different. After storming out the gates to begin the season, the Clippers have slowed and their consistency has hit a snag. As records currently stand, the Clippers still have a chance to grab the third seed, but their sights are solely set on gaining that home-court edge.
Entering tonight's matchup, the Clippers hold a record of 53-26 while both the Grizzlies and Denver sit at 54-25. The Clippers hold the season series with the Grizzlies at 2-1 entering tonight as well, so a victory would ensure that they hold a tiebreak.
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and head coach Vinny Del Negro will have to align in both their thoughts and actions. If they expect to improve upon last season's success, the Clippers need to help their own cause by giving themselves time to be with their families and perform in front of their home crowd as they head into their second straight postseason.
The Clippers could end up playing four different teams in the first round; Memphis, Denver, Golden State or Houston. Tonight's game is expected to be a grind-it-out type of playoff atmosphere. The Grind House isn't exactly the most favorable arena for the Clippers - seeing as they sent Memphis fans home in heartbreak twice in the same series last year.
Physical battles on the glass and on the block will ensue. Marc Gasol will almost certainly dominate the matchup with DeAdnre Jordan (if he is healthy enough to play after suffering a sprained ankle), however, Blake and Zach Randolph always battle for the duration of the clock on every single possession. Whoever comes out on top in that matchup might give their team the slight edge.
Paul will have to take care of his squad down the stretch and make Mike Conley work hard for every inch. It's no secret this game has massive implications, get it done CP3.