The playoffs continue today in the NBA with two great matchups and one of those is the seventh game of a first round series. The Memphis Grizzlies, the fourth seed in the playoffs, host the Los Angeles Clippers the fifth seed. Memphis comes into the game having won two consecutive games to tie the series after falling behind 3-1. In today’s game, it is all or nothing. Win and head to San Antonio for game one of the second round or lose and game home to spend a long summer wondering about what could have been.
Memphis was able to take advantage of the injured Clippers on Friday night to post a 90-88 win. Both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul were hobbled for the Clippers and were noticeably affected by their injuries. Because of that, the Grizzlies were able to out rebound the Clippers by 16 and the Grizzlies were able to score 22 more points in the paint than the Clippers. Marc Gasol scored a team high 23 points for Memphis and fellow big man Zach Randolph had 19.
The Clippers, in order to win, must rely on Paul’s leadership and scoring in game seven. The All Star should be near 100% for the game and knows there is no tomorrow. Los Angeles also must try to get Blake Griffin into the offense more often and help him more down low with defensive rebounding. The Grizzlies hit the offensive boards very well and have been able to consistently get more second chance points than the Clippers.
Key players in today’s matchup will be Rudy Gay for the Grizzlies and DeAndre Jordan for the Clippers. If Gay can score as he has most of the series, it will take pressure off Gasol and Randolph by pulling the Clipper offense out. If Jordan can help Griffin on the defensive boards, it will give the Grizzlies few second looks offensively.
The current line has the Grizzlies as an 8-point favorite after opening at 5 ½. The total is 177 ½. Take the Clippers plus the points to cash out, even though the Grizzlies will win SU. The total will be good to those who take the OVER.