This time, the Clippers have a retooled roster with different offensive weapons and the Grizzlies traded their top offensive weapon mid-season for a different look (and a salary cap move) defensively. Memphis had the top defense in the league this season, however, they were in the bottom five of the league in scoring and against a team like the Clippers, buckets matter.
If the Grizzlies think they can win this series averaging less than their season average of 94, they're sorely mistaken. They need points - and they don't have many perimeter players to go to for it either. Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless have assumed a large portion of the volume scoring from the perimeter once the Memphis traded Rudy Gay, but the addition of Tayshaun Prince as well as Ed Davis have really helped their already stellar defense and improved their rebounding on both ends of the floor.
Tony Allen is almost a liability on the offensive end. He's probably the top perimeter defender in the game today, but his offense is just nonexistent. The Clippers will bait him into hitting shots - because if they lose with Allen hitting jumpers, so be it.
Something that shouldn't be overlooked is the streak the Clippers enter the postseason on - a 7 gamer. They're clicking at the right time. Jamal Crawford is back into his stroke while Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will not hesitate to lead an assault on the Grizzlies at home, where they finished 32-9 in the regular season. They also took the season series with Memphis, 3 games to 1.
Lob City just has more depth and some championship experience (Chauncey Billups, Lamar Odom & Caron Butler) that will ultimately be the end of the Grizzlies and fully ignite a rivalry between the two teams, especially once the Grizzlies are eliminated at the hands of the Clippers - once again.
Prediction: Clippers in