Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers Game Sample

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (26-14, 12-6 out) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (19-20, 12-11 at home)

WHEN: 14:30 CT

WHERE: crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis

Injury Report:

MEMPHIS: Steven Adams (Out, Health and Safety Protocols), Desmond Bane (Doubtful, quad), John Konchar/Xavier Tillman Sr. (Doubtful, Health and Safety Protocols), Kyle Anderson (Doubtful, Back), Ja Morant (Doubtful, Thigh), Yves Pons (Doubtful, Ankle)

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: Luke Kennard and Ivica Zubac (out, health and safety protocols), Kawhi Leonard (out, knee), Paul George (out, elbow), Isaiah Hartenstein (out, ankle), Jason Preston (out, foot)

PROJECTED START SETTINGS:

MEMPHIS: Tyus Jones, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, Jaren Jackson Jr.,

LA CLIPPERS: Reggie Jackson, Eric Bledsoe, Terance Mann, Marcus Morris Sr., Serge Ibaka


The Memphis Grizzlies recorded what many called a “professional win” on Thursday night as they settled cases against the (almost intentionally) hapless Detroit Pistons. The game was in play for only a short time, and due to the way Ja Morant and his company treated themselves, no starter’s minutes exceeded 27 minutes. As the dog days of the season approach, these types of games will matter more and more. In one individual game, the difference between 5 minutes played is not noticeable. But if you are able to win multiple times decisively and multiply those 5 minutes by maybe 6 or 7 such wins? Now you’ll save a whole game of time on legs that, no matter how young, wear out as the season progresses.

This game is another example of such an opportunity. Because even with Ja Morant doubtful for this match (and therefore almost certainly out, barring a COVID problem for the Grizzlies – historically “questionable” is almost always “out”), the Grizzlies are set up to keep the superior team. are. LA is without their two superstars in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and key rotation members Ivica Zubac and Luke Kennard are also sitting this one out. Memphis is just deeper — especially considering that Desmond Bane, John Konchar, and Xavier Tillman Sr. (doubtful usually means “they play” for Memphis) are back in the mix.

Of course the Grizzlies are weaker without Morant. And the team continues to miss Kyle Anderson’s versatility as it now also adds Steven Adams to the health and safety protocol list. But Memphis has more in the tank than the Clippers…and this should be another “professional win”.

“Should be.

Here’s how to get it done.

Use the size to your advantage

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies in Los Angeles Clippers

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers’ starting five in this game have enough talent to be sure to cause trouble for the Grizzlies, especially on the attacking side. But LA is lacking in physical size, especially in the rear, against Memphis. Desmond Bane is only 6’4″ but built like a tank, and Dillon Brooks is about 6’7″ and is more than capable of being physically fit with most perimeter players. While Tyus Jones is also small, players like De’Anthony Melton (6’8″ wingspan) can also cause problems for the Clippers’ guards who are more “point” than “combo”.

The speed and behavior of Reggie Jackson and Eric Bledsoe must be respected. But Memphis has bodies to throw at these guys, and the ability to maintain positioning while implementing physicality. That doesn’t mean the Grizzlies have to play dirty when guards attack the track. It does mean that due to the many missing pieces for LA, wearing them through a fast and physical style could be beneficial to the Grizzlies. Transition baskets and solid movement on defense make for a tired Clippers squad.

Feature Brandon Clarke from the couch

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Memphis Grizzlies

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t look now, but Brandon Clarke is having a season very similar to what he did in his great rookie campaign. In fact, you could argue that he’s even better than he was back then — in a smaller sample size, his offensive rating (134), PER (23.2), and win shares per 48 minutes (.226) are all better than they were in that first NBA season for Clarke, according to basketball-reference.com. He’s regained that explosiveness he so often missed last season, and although his three-point shot has let him down (a rotten 14.3% from past the arc), he’s as impactful as ever as a rimrunner (nearly 80% Rim Shooter) and Defender (his 5.1% block rate is the best of his career). He’s simply back to the part of a core Grizzlies piece moving forward.

With Ivica Zubac out, Clippers’ forecourt is already struggling in terms of depth. While Clarke isn’t the greatest big man in history, the LA bigs won’t be able to keep up with BC’s explosiveness. Regardless of who is in charge at Clarke, he must be given the opportunity to test the range of Clippers bigs defensively. He has the ability and because of his recent strong play he also has the confidence. Let him eat.

The prediction

The guess line is not available at the time of writing – likely due to uncertainty surrounding the Memphis injury report. We can forgive Vegas for not knowing how the Grizzlies roll in that regard – but assuming Morant/Anderson/Pons are out and Bane/Konchar/Tillman in, Memphis would be favored by at least two scores. The Grizzlies have a better track record on the road than the Clippers at home, and the quality of Memphis’ roster should be evident in a match where the Grizzlies, despite being without their best player, have the talent and depth should prevail.

Memphis 108, Los Angeles Clippers 101

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