There are many parallels between our teams. We each have crafty point guards in Davis and Tinsley. Future superstar 2-guards in EJ and OJ. Athletic SF’s in Thornton and Gay. Talented centers in Kaman and Gasol. Both of these teams both have loads of talent and neither seem to know how to put together a win. Both the Clips and the Grizz had question marks re: the team chemistry.
In the third meeting of the season, our recently 4-1 Clips run into a recently 5-2 Grizz team. Could we pull it off?
WTF: Rudy Gay has had the Clippers’ number in the first two games, scoring 33 and 21, respectively. One would assume that the players and coaching staff had made a note of this and made the necessary preparations. I guess I assumed incorrectly, as he scores the Grizzlies first 8 points to open the game.
EJ vs OJ. OJ Mayo finished 2nd in voting for ROY behind Derrick Rose, but EJ has outplayed him in most of the meetings between the two teams. Eric finished with 29 points—energizing the Clippers in the 4th while OJ finished with 8 points on 2-10 shooting.
Kaman vs Gasol. The better comparison is Gasol vs Camby. Kaman was lucky to come out in the favorable end in comparison to Thabeet. Thabeet had 3 points after the first half with Kaman with nothing to show but 2 points and 3 fouls.
Superstar for the Grizz: Tie—Tinsley and Gasol. At least the Clippers forced other players than Gay to do the damage.
Superstars for the Clips: Camby. 14 points on 7-8 shooting. 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 1 steal against only 1 personal foul and 1 turn-over.
Thornton vs Gay: I know I’m not the only one who wanted to see a rejuvenated Al Thornton going up against the Clipper-killer named Rudy Gay. Neither one asserted themselves in tonight until Thornton blew up in the fourth, outperforming Gay with a 8-15, 18-point game to Gay’s 7-14, and 15 points.
Best play of the game: Camby’s rebound of a Baron 3 point miss, and behind the back (both his and Rudy Gay’s) pass to Thornton for a 2 hand slam with 1:19 on the clock in the 3rd quarter.
Kaman rebound 4th Q 7:02 Kaman rebound and outlet pass to EJ, leading to a lay-up and +1, cutting the Memphis lead to 10.
4th 6:12 With the Memphis lead, Baron gets a great look at a 3-pointer, but misses. Al Thornton comes down with a rare offensive rebound. down to 10, Tinsley strips Baron. Fortunately, they didn’t make a basket. Next play: Offensive foul by the Clips.
4:04 Rudy Gay misses 2 free throws. Baron drives to the basket and cuts the lead to 8, with 3:47 remaining. I sit there wondering why he hasn’t done it all game long…
Clippers have shown improved shot selection and better defense—holding the Grizz to 17% FG.
3:31 Kaman strips Gasol, Gordon grabs the loose ball and gets a lay-up AND THE FOUL! +1, 88-83.
Next possession, Mayo milks the clock—shooting with 1 second left but misses. Camby rebounds and the ensuing possession nets 2 made Kaman free throws. 3 point Grizz lead.
2:33 Tinsley loses the ball because of a Baron and Camby double team, resulting in a 1-2 Thornton free throw. 88-86 Memphis.
2:08 Gasol ‘s shot is blocked by Camby. Gordon gets the loose ball and gets a lay-up on the other end. Game tied 88-88.
Rudy Gay’s shot gets partially blocked by Camby in the ensuing possession—Baron Davis passes to Gordon to Thornton for the easy lay-up. Clippers lead 90-88 with 1:38 remaining!
After the time out, Randolph is double-teamed by Camby and Gordon, his pass is tipped, Gordon gets the loose ball, passes to Thornton for a lay-up and a foul. +1 and the Clips lead 93-88.
Next possession, Rudy Gay throws up an airball—Baron passes to Telfair for a 3 pointer, 96-88 Clipper lead.
After the timeout, Tinsley’s lay-up blocked by Butler. Baron again finds Telfair for a three point attempt, but Telfair shows mercy and attempts to run-off the clock. He is fouled and sent to the free throw line.
Telfair misses both of his free throws, but Thornton gets the rebound and gets a 2 point put-back. 22-0 point Clipper run and the game ends with 98-88.
Wow! Grizzlies opened the 4th with a 16 point lead and shooting better than 60%. Clips held them to 2-18 in the fourth (11%) and all the good will that the Grizz have saved up over the past 7 games went out the window...
Have we ever seen another team implode the way the Grizzlies have? Yes. We watch our chosen team do it all the time. (Like I said--our teams have so many similarities). I'm just glad to see it happen to some other team for a change…
Final thought of the Day: Is there a bigger dud at #2 than Thabeet? Perhaps Darko...we can only hope that the difference between the #1 and #2 picks this season will be as big as the #1 and #2 picks when LeBron came into the league...