Sunday, May 13, 2012

Clippers vs Grizzlies Game 7 Preview:

The Los Angeles Clippers and The Memphis Grizzlies are headed to an epic game 7 that will determine who moves on and faces The San Antonio Spurs in the 2nd round of the Western Conference playoffs and who will go fishing. Only eight teams have won a series after being down 3-1, The Grizzlies have a tough task ahead of them.

I picked the Clippers in 7 before the series started and still think it will go down that road.  For the Clippers to win they need Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to be as healthy as possible, contributions from the bench are needed too. For  Memphis? They need to pass the ball down low  to Marc Gasol and Zack Randolph as much as they possibly can, They have won the games in which Gasol is very involved as a scorer.  Also, Rudy Gay needs to stop forcing shots and play in control.

I talked to two devoted fans (one from each team) and they  told me what do their respective teams need to do in order to advance.

Alicia (Clipper fan)  Follow her on Twitter @A_leesee_a .  Read her Clippers Season recap  here. 

 and Katee Forbis (Memphis fan)  Follow her on twitter @KateeForbis.  Read her Grizzlies Season recap here.   She also has a Grizzlies podcast, follow that  and on Itunes. 

Which was the lowest point in this series?  The Highest?

A:  Lowest part of the series was game 5, when 2 of our stars got injured in the same game. The highest point was our comeback game, being down 27 in Memphis and stealing home court!!  

K:  You are going to make me say it? *mumbles* Game 1. Also a low point in my LIFE. Ha ha! Worst game I've been to in the 27 years I've been alive. 

The Highest? Game 6! The tougher the climb, the more you appreciate it when you are able to grit and grind your way back! (However, it was not a pretty game for either team.)

Who from the opposing team has impressed you the most? Anyone you didn’t know what this good?

A:  Gasol and Randolph are monster rebounders. But I knew that coming into the series.

K:  Uhh... the ball boy? If I have to admit it, I have been most impressed by Chris Paul. I can't deny he is incredibly talented. For Memphians, he's frustratingly talented. ha! 

Reggie Evans? But is he really? Or did the Grizzlies screw ups just make him look good? Guess someone who cares about the Clippers would have to answer that. ;o)

What’s the biggest key for your team to be able to move on?

A:  Like I said before, as obvious as it is, defense. We need to play defense and grab boards on both ends.

K: Winning game 7! For the LOVE OF GOD GRIZZ PLEASE WIN GAME 7! ha ha! The Grizzlies need to keep getting the ball to Zbo and Marc Gasol. Grizzlies need to remember Rudy isolation plays are one of the worst ideas Hollins ever had. Rudy needs to pass the ball from time to time. No lazy passes. LESS THAN 20 TURNOVERS!

Which position should be most important to get the W?

A: I think our second unit, especially with CP3 and Blake not being 100%. Our second unit needs to step up a little more to help fill the void. 

K:   Our big men. The Clippers haven't been able to fully shut us down when we feed to ball to them.  It's also important that Hollins plays Tony Allen in the important minutes so our defense can shut the Clippers down. A lot of people are critical of TA for some of his offensive flubs but no one will hustle more than Tony Allen. No one wants to correct their mistake and make up for it more than Tony Allen. Tony Allen IS the definition of grit and grind. He's the one who gave the franchise our personality. Tony Allen is Memphis basketball.

If player X plays well, we’ll win the game. Who’s that guy and why you’d think he’s that important?

A:  I don't think there is any one player. I can only hope that Blake and CP3 are feeling better than they did on Friday, but if they're not, then Eric Bledsoe and Deandre Jordan. DJ has been kind of "absent" but started to break out of his funk Friday, we need him to stay out of his funk. 

K:  It's hard for me to pick one player because the Grizzlies play a team game. If I have to, I'd say if Zach Randolph plays well, we will win the game. I expect Marc to play well, but Zbo has been some what of a question mark since the injury. When he has played well in the series, the Grizz have done well. And Rudy Gay doesn't need to play poorly. We'll be okay with an average game from him but a bad game will kill us. I'm pretty hard on Rudy because he tends to be a good player when I know he has the talent to be a great player. I actually expect him to have a good game though. Don't make me a liar, Rudy!

Does anything other than a win would satisfied you?

A:  Honestly, I'm ecstatic that our season didn't end with the regular season. It's been 6 years since we've had a post season and I'm so grateful to be here! Obviously, I want my team to win, but I'm still proud regardless of the outcome.

K:  I'm not going to say "As long as they played their best.." because if the Grizzlies play their best we will win, period. Memphis wants a win and I don't think the fans will accept any less than that from our team. Ultimately because we really do believe in them. We want them to play to their full potential. 

How confident are you on game 7?

A:  As confident as I've been with every other game, we're in it to win it!! 

K:  I told one of my fellow Grizz fans today that I wasn't nervous so THAT made me nervous. Ha ha! I believe in our guys though. There is really a family sort of spirit with the Memphis Grizzlies. My dad told me today that he was so proud of Marc and Zach in game 6. There's something about these guys that is so down to earth. Grizz fans feel like we know them. I feel such a sense of pride for my city when I watch the Grizzlies play. So in answer to your question, I am confident in the Grizzlies ability to win, but I also know round 1 is far from over. No one plays a game 7 half heartedly. I fully expect the LA Clippers to be ready to fight for this series. After game 1, I don't celebrate until the buzzer sounds and the streamers fall. I don't care if the Grizzlies are winning by 40. It's not over until the final buzzer.

Final Game 7 predictions? 

A:  It's going to be tough, but I gotta say my fellas will prevail. What's one more obstacle?! 

K:  I predict several technical fouls by both teams. These teams have been on edge with each other since game 1. I think game 7 is where that all plays out. I predict Blake Griffin will get booed. He always gets booed but after his MIRACULOUS recovery from his horrible injury, Memphis is sick and tired of him. Save the acting for Los Angeles. I predict it will be a nail biter until the final seconds. I don't want to predict the outcome of the game. I feel like it is bad luck. I'll just say that every single Grizz fan in that forum and watching at home will be cheering our lungs out for our home team. Memphis BELIEVES! 

Thanks to Katee and Alicia for always agreeing to be a part of the website. These girls are awesome and they clearly know their stuff. Follow me on Twitter @JohnnyNBA and Like us on Facebook.

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