Free NBA Playoffs Picks and Tips: Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Reaching the postseason has not been the norm for the Los Angeles Clippers, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. They have won just one playoff series in four appearances since moving to Los Angeles for the 1984-85 season but come into this one having set a franchise record for victories this season.
Memphis Grizzlies earned the fourth seed with a victory over Orlando in the season finale, has won a franchise-record 11 consecutive home games and is hosting a playoff series for the first time.
When: 9:30 PM ET, Sunday, April 29, 2012
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Los Angeles Clippers (40-26): Chris Paul came to Los Angeles in the biggest preseason trade in recent memory and is a major reason the Clippers ended a six-year playoff drought. The All-Star point guard enters the playoffs with a mild groin strain that kept him out of Friday’s practice. He insists he will play in the opener. The Clippers will miss the playoff experience of Chauncey Billups; the 15-year veteran had season-ending surgery in February for a torn Achilles’ tendon. Blake Griffin will play in his first playoff series and will have to fight through Memphis’ big front line.
Memphis Grizzlies (41-25): Memphis is not one of the flashiest teams in the NBA but has perhaps the best perimeter defense in the league. Led by Tony Allen, Mike Conley and Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies led the league in forced turnovers at 17.1 per game. All-Star Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph will test the Clippers inside. “They want to make every possession a dogfight,” Clippers guard Randy Foye said. “They want to grind it out. They want you to take the shot they want you to take, not the shot that you want to take. That's what makes it tough.”
The Clippers won the season series 2-1.
Memphis leads the overall series 33-32.
2. Griffin is the only player in the league averaging at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
3. Paul is first in the league in steals (2.53) while Conley is second (2.19).
NBA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Grizzlies 104, Clippers 98
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