Posted: 5/2/2012 2:34:14 PM
I try not to put too much emphasis on regular season numbers when the playoffs roll around, but in some cases things are difficult to ignore. What we know about Game 1. Memphis outplayed the Clippers for 3+ quarters, but LA wouldn't quit and stole one on the road. The Clippers won that game because of three people - and it's not who you'd expect. The "Big Three" of Nick Young, Reggie Evans and Eric Bledsoe won the game for LA. Some notable takeaways from Game 1
54 - number of points LA scored in the paint, however their bigs (Blake, Deandre, Evans and Kenyon) only scored 28 total points excluding foul shots.
50% - The Clippers FG %, which overall is rare, but even more so on the road
68.8% - Memphis 3Pt shooting %
76 - The combined + number for Young, Evans and Bledsoe
-41 - The combined - number for the Grizzlies bench
So, Game 1, known for the biggest comeback in playoff history, had several anomalies. Ones that I'd be surprised if they showed up again tonight. That being said, even without these stats, the game clearly could go over. The Clippers starters were not good, so they could come back in a big way. However, the regular season tells us that this situational spot for the Clippers is one where they historically have struggled. Memphis, on the other hand, faces a scenario where this season they have typically done well.
This season on the road against the top 10 defenses based on FG % (Memphis is 7th), the Clippers are 0-5-2 SU in regulation and 2-5 ATS. Their only two SU wins required OT, so both of these games could have bounced the other way. In these 7 games, the Clippers averaged 88 points in regulation.
Prior to Game 1's home loss, Memphis had won 11 straight in their own building. This season, following a home loss, the Grizz are 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS in their next game at home. In these games they are holding opponents to an average score of 90 points.
Again, those are regular season numbers, but I don't expect the numbers we saw in Game 1. I think the Clippers shoot below 50%, the Grizz shoot below 68% from 3Pt, the Clipper bench is less relevant, the Grizz bench is more relevant. Ultimately, I think the Clippers struggle to get things going and much of that will be due to the defensive pressure they see from Memphis, who surely will be seeking to get one back at home.
No thoughts on the side. Lean to Memphis, but unsure if I play it. I think the Grizzlies win, so I might find myself involved in some capacity backing Memphis.