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Game Preview: Clippers at Memphis

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The Clippers enter a critical stretch that may determine how their season will be defined.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

OVERVIEW

The Los Angeles Clippers enter in Memphis at a fork in the season’s road. Right now the Clippers are 13-18 on the season and are 2.5 games back of the New Orleans Pelicans for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Conversely, the Clippers are only five games ahead of the conference cellar dwelling Dallas Mavericks. As pointed out by our fearless leader Lucas Hahn in his recap, of last night’s stunning victory over the Houston Rockets, the Clippers enter a stretch of five consecutive games against teams under .500. If the good guys capitalize on this opportunity, a playoff appearance for this scrappy team would remain reasonably possible.

THE BAD GUYS

The Memphis Grizzlies have been bad this season with a record of 9-23. They are currently a half game ahead of Dallas for conference basement residency. They lost Thursday night to the Phoenix Suns. Nevertheless, these Grizzlies beat the Clippers in Los Angeles 113-104 back on November 4. Those Grizzlies however had the services of Mike Conley. Now Conley will be out until at least January 2, 2018. Further complicating things is the doubtful status of Marc Gasol due to a hip injury.

HOW TO WATCH

TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket

Radio: AM 570 LA Sports

Time: 5 PM

Location: FedEx Forum (Memphis, TN)

PARTING THOUGHTS

The Clippers need to win this game if they want to realistically compete for a playoff appearance. Last night’s victory in Houston was pleasantly surprising, but the Clippers dug themselves a deep hole to start this year (in part due to injury). Austin Rivers is back and Milos Teodosic should be rested and ready to play as well. Consistency will be the name of the game. The Clippers depend on the three-pointer shot a lot and last night it was coming up well (42.9%) after four consecutive poor three-point shooting games.

For a different perspective of tonight’s game and the Grizzlies, visit their SB Nation blog here.