Game 2 Preview: L.A. Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies
"We don't have to play from 24, 27 down," Chris Paul said.
It is almost certain that this comeback is a one-time thing as well - the Clippers need to close out shooters and play better defense from the start. They will also be without starting SF, Caron Butler who has a fractured metacarpel in his non-shooting hand. He will be re-evaluated when the team returns to L.A. on Thursday, but it is assumed he will at least miss the remainder of this series. Nick Young will most likely start in his place and Bobby Simmons will now see crucial bench minutes in Game 2.
Having gone up 1-0 in the series, the Clippers have re-established home court advantage. They traveled to Memphis for a split, but they now have a golden opportunity to kick them while they're down. The Grizzlies will be playing with an extra amount of pressure tonight, as their fans have been waiting to secure first round home court since the franchise relocated from Vancouver to Memphis. Putting themselves in an 0-2 hole heading to Los Angeles would be less than ideal. L.A. can look to exploit their over-exertion and use their agressive play to force them into bad possessions and turnovers. The Grizzlies will come out of their home tunnel ready, but will their internal faces read something different? Will the demoralized Rudy Gay emerge or will the Rudy that Memphis fans have come to love show up? Will Zach Randolph have a better night from the field? Will Mike Conley be able to repeat his 5-5 from beyond the arc performance? The fact that these questions are at the forefront is alarming for the home squad. But at the same time, salvaging a win is necessary. This might as well be the elimination game for the Grizzlies. And the Clippers need to treat it the same way - because if you manage to kick your opponent when he is down, he is not going to get back up.
Game 2 is scheduled for 6:30 PST/9:30 EST.