And now the moment we have all been waiting for. The NBA Playoffs are finally here. Since it’s still early and we’re only two games in, I figured I would share my thoughts on the most exciting series of the playoffs. There’s everything to like about the matchup between these teams including their history which proves that this years rematch between the L.A. Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies is bound to be even better than last years.
A year ago we thought little of the 4 vs 5 matchup between Memphis and L.A. but as we reminisce, we remember what a great series that was. Their round 1 matchup in last years playoffs would go on to become an instant classic after the Clippers defeated the Grizzlies in game 7. To say these games were competitive would be like calling an oven warm after baking cookies. The correct word of choice here being hot. 5 out of the eventual 7 games would be determined by 4 points or less with each team averaging just over 90 points and 16 assists a game. In game 1, the Clippers would overcome a 21 point deficit entering the 4th quarter as they defeated the Grizzlies 99-98. Memphis would soon learn from their mistakes managing to hold a 4th quarter lead as they handled Los Angeles 105-98 in game 2 (tied 1-1). The Clippers managed to steal game 3 despite missing 17 Free Throws and Rudy Gay‘s 24 points (L.A. 2-1). In game 4 the Grizzlies would force overtime behind an 11-1 fourth quarter run. Led by Chris Paul‘s 27 points, 7 assists and 9 rebounds the Clippers defeated the Grizzlies in overtime 101-97 taking a commanding 3-1 series lead. Following their game 4 demise, the Grizzlies would take games 5 and 6 tying the series (3-3) and forcing game 7. In game 7 bench production would play large as L.A.’s reserves would outscore Memphis 41-11 behind Nick Young‘s 13 points. The Clippers defeated the Grizzlies 82-72 in game 7 before moving on to face the San Antonio Spurs in round 2.
And now we fast forward to this years series. Although L.A. currently leads 2-0, this years series has already shown signs to be even more exciting than last years. It’s ironic that these two teams a year removed from last years matchup manage to meet again in 4v5 fashion. Their similar game play and competitive nature have yet to disappoint thus far. Following the Clippers convincing game 1 victory 112-91, Chris Paul’s game winning shot on Monday night solidified a 2-0 lead on Memphis. The fact that game 2 came down to one final shot was proof that tensions are beginning to heat up between these teams. (Either that or this series is over because Los Angeles is looking better than ever). Chris Paul’s game 2 heroics only add to what has been a highlight reel of clutch playoff performances for the leagues best #3. Leading to my next point which came from a casual basketball discussion that came up today: Other than Lebron James, Chris Paul is the only player who could singlehandedly carry any team to the playoffs. Think about it. Oh and while you do that make sure you don’t miss game 3 of what looks to be an exciting series of games to come. Game 3; Clippers at Grizzlies is set for Thursday April 25, 9:30 EST.