The NBA Playoffs: Day 14: Grizzlies Maul Clippers

Marc Gasol has showed up for the playoffs while his
older brother Pau has disappeared, again.
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) 
#game7 #MarcBetterthanPau
Lob City is in danger of becoming Flop City. The Clippers have lost their series lead and momentum and they could fall flat on their faces if they lose the deciding game on Sunday. The 3-1 lead for the Clippers has disappeared and Game 7 will be in Memphis. Chris Paul (11 pts) and Blake Griffin (17 pts) played but they were limited and the Grizzlies took advantage. If they dont get better by Sunday, then the Clippers have no chance to advance to face the Spurs in the next round. Marc Gasol has continued his excellent play with 23 points and 9 rebounds while Zach Randolph chipped in 18 pts and 16 rebs. The frontline for the Grizzlies have dominated the Clippers in the rebounding category (48-32) and they have controlled the paint. Griffin has struggled offensively and his lack of a jumper and post moves have prevented the Clippers from finishing the series. The Clippers rely too much on Paul to provide everybody with shots and now that he is hurt, the Clips could not get anything done offensively. Defensively, the Clips have had mental lapses especially in their transition defense. Caron Butler gave a clear path foul due to lack of effort while a couple of times near the end, the Grizz beat the Clippers back in transition to score easy buckets or kill time off the clock. These were mistakes that cost the Clips the game. Coach Del Negro needs to do a better job in emphasizing that running back on defense actually wins ballgames.

#BadCalls #RefsSuck
Ideally, playing at home during the playoffs favors the home team. That is why teams try to finish with the best regular season record to have home court advantage in the playoffs. Generally, home teams get favorable calls from referees as well. In Game 6, the Clippers received the road team version of whistles. The Clippers were recipients of bad calls all game long and three specific ones caught my attention. The first one was the technical foul called on Reggie Evans after he was fouled on a fastbreak. Evans gave Blake Griffin a high five and the referee called a technical foul on that. I did not know that high fives were not allowed or seen as a form of taunting. Next, Evans was involved a rebounding battle with Marc Gasol. A freethrow was missed and as Evans tried to get the offensive rebound, Gasol face-guarded him but Gasol entered the lane too early and Evans managed to shove him to the floor. A foul was called on Evans and Gasol shot freethrows. I think that the right call should have been either a lane violation on Gasol or a lose ball foul on Gasol because he held Evans before Evans shoved him away. Lastly, a shooting foul was called on Chris Paul when he blocked a layup by Tony Allen during the last 2 minutes of a close game. Replays showed that it was all ball and a clean block. The right call should have been no foul and ball to the Grizzlies. Referees are human and they make mistakes. It's just too bad that it happened to the Clippers on this night.

LeBron James has won his 3rd MVP in the last four years. He led the league in PER (player efficiency rating) by a huge margin and he led the Miami Heat to the 2nd best record in the Eastern Conference. He was named player of the week six times and he was named player of the month twice. James has been stellar offensively and defensively (4th in DPOY voting) plus he carried the team to a 13-1 record when Dwyane Wade did not play. Kevin Durant was his greatest competitor for the award but KD faded in April and his playmaking and defensive presence were no match to what LeBron could do. LBJ is the best player in the league and he deserves to be recognized as such. His haters and detractors will keep pointing out the he has no rings and that's a fact. It is also a fact that the MVP trophy rewards the player for having an excellent regular season and not the playoffs.

#Tweet/Quote of the Night
"This one has to hurt. If it doesn't hurt, it means you don't care." - Chris Paul on the loss.

#News #stats

  • Lakers and Clippers will both have Game 7s after leading 3-1 in their series
  • Prediction: Lakers win but Clippers lose
  • LBJ is the 8th player to have at least three MVPs; all have rings except LBJ
  • Grizzlies had 22 turnovers to the Clippers 7
  • LBJ's stat line was bettered only by Michael Jordan

Follow me on Twitter @rollzter

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