First it was the Lakers' big men loafing all over the court on Thursday, and now it’s the Clippers' Blake Griffin jogging up and down the court on Friday.
I don’t know what’s in the water in L.A., but these Los Angeles basketball teams don’t seem to be too excited about playoff basketball.
Griffin looked irritated at the world on Friday, almost like he was pouting at times. Every time he got touched you would have thought he was going to have a heart attack. This is playoff basketball kids; you’re going to get fouled. Suck it up and play ball.
Griffin's entire body language was that of someone mentally beaten. He didn’t have a sense of urgency or desire and the numbers reflect this. Blake only went for five rebounds and 17 points. These numbers don’t sound incredibly bad, but they don’t truly reflect how little of an impact on the game Blake had.
CP3 wasn’t much better. Chris Paul had 11 points and 7 assists. Down the stretch Memphis simply double teamed Paul and the Clippers quickly realized they had no one else on the court capable of making those clutch shots that can also make free throws if fouled.
If any comeback was possible, the clippers continued to shoot themselves in the foot the last few minutes of the game with absurd turnovers and stepping out of bounds on rebounds.
Memphis has found a winning offensive attack by letting the offense flow through big man Marc Gasol. He is not only a big body and a great shooter, but he’s quite possibly the best passing center in the NBA. Gasol went off for 23 points and 9 rebounds on 9-16 shooting.
The real story on crucial possessions though was Zach Randolph. That’s right, we have another Randolph sighting. Zach went bonkers in the 2011 NBA playoffs and appears to be warming up again this year as he went for 18 points and 16 rebounds.
This is a matchup the Clippers appear to have no answer for. Randolph is a power forward that possesses the skill set of both a 2-guard and a big man, plus unparalleled hand strength on the ball.
The Clippers' chance to win this series was Friday night. Now with the series moving back to Memphis on Sunday for game 7, I predict a Grizzlies win.
Photo Credit: AP
Michael Brouillet is the lead basketball writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him @Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.