Los Angeles-The Los Angeles Clippers are going to Memphis with their backs against the wall. If they fail to win Game 6 Friday night, they’ll be eliminated from the Western Conference Playoffs.
It’s been a bumpy road for the Clippers lately; they’ve lost their last three playoff games against the Grizzlies. Will the Clippers be able to go into the grit-n-grind territory and steal a win? There’s no doubt that it won’t be easy leaving the Fed Ex Forum with a win, but anything is possible.
Memphis has a chance to close out the series.
Chris Paul will need the entire committee to step up to the plate. He can’t do it all by himself, He’s already tried. On Tuesday, Paul’s 35 points, six rebounds and four assists became irrelevant at the end of the game because those numbers weren’t enough to get his team the victory.
The rest of the Clippers starters went missing in action, connecting on just 8 of 21 shot attempts from the field, scoring a combined 18 points.
Although Blake Griffin’s presence is absent due to a high ankle sprain, they will have to look for another player on the roster who’s willing to take on the challenge. Blake’s job won’t be easy by any means and it does require great physical and mental effort to accomplish or comprehend his difficult task. So far, Jamal Crawford is the only player that fits that role.
Crawford finished the game with 15 points. No other player scored in double-digits for the Clippers in the 103-93 home loss to the Grizzlies.
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro talked about getting more production from Center DeAndre Jordon.
“I don’t know if crossroads is the right word, but there’s definitely a level that you have to play at right now than anytime he’s had to before,” Del Negro said. “He has a much bigger responsibility now. He understands it.
“I haven’t seen the consistency that I would like, but I don’t think he’s seen the consistency he would like. He’s been working and his attitude has been good, but the bottom line is he’s got to go out there and produce.”
With one of the best benches in the league, the Clippers are still lacking the necessary power it takes to win in the playoffs. Memphis is a very physical team with two powerful big men who can muscle their way through to get the job done- and Los Angeles have yet to figure out a way to sedate the dynamic duo.
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol has been the rock for Memphis offensively and defensively, owning the paint and controlling the boards. When will the Clippers answer? Now they have to enter the city of Memphis with a desperate state of mind. All the pressure will be on the Clippers.
They’ve the roster to make it out with a win, but will have to show heart and confidence. In this series from here on out if the Clippers want to win they’ll have to fight hard for it, nothing will be handed to them at this point.
“We have to be desperate,” Paul said. “They say the playoffs don’t start until someone loses at home; I guess ours just started.”
Losing is far from what the Clippers signed up for in the playoffs after having a very solid season. But when the postseason approaches everything you did during the regular season is wiped out, nobody remembers, not even your fans.
There’s still hope for the Los Angeles Clippers; it’s not over until the fat lady sings. Hopefully, they won’t give her a reason to sing on Friday night.