Team: LA Clippers (23-24) at Memphis Grizzlies (17-30)
Time: Tuesday, January 26, 2018 at 8:00pm ET (FedEx Forum)
The Clippers are desperately looking to snap their skid and get back into the win column tonight. The only thing standing in their way is the Memphis Grizzlies. Despite being one of the worst teams in the west, the Grizzlies have given the Clippers an incredibly hard time this season. LA is 1-2 on the season against Memphis thus far. However, tonight is a very must-win game for the Clippers. Every loss for the Clippers is critical, and they’re now 1.5 games out of the playoffs.
Memphis has actually been playing great basketball recently, winning 4 out of their last 6 games.
Despite that, this is the perfect time to strike for the Clippers. Memphis is going to be missing a handful of players tonight: JaMychal Green, James Ennis, Mike Conley, and Chandler Parsons. Additionally, the following players are questionable: Ben McLemore, Jarell Martin, and Tyreke Evans. Astonishingly, they may be even more short-handed than the Clippers. Here’s how the Clippers can capitalize:
The Grizzlies are the 2nd worst offensive team, averaging only 99 points a game. However, they’ve averaged 111 points in three games against the Clippers. This is the NBA, on any given night a team can go off regardless of who is on the court.
The Clippers cannot afford to sleep on these Grizzlies at all. Even though the Clippers are short-handed, they have enough talent to outscore Memphis. So all they need to do is play their usual offensive game, while playing some aggressive defense.
Rebound the Ball
Memphis is the 3rd worst rebounding team in the league (40.3), and the Clippers need to take advantage of that. This depleted Clippers squad has a new identity, one where they attack the paint. The Clippers need to re-establish that identity against this poor rebounding team. Attack the paint, rebound the ball, and score second chance points. The Grizzlies will be looking to utilize the same strategy, since they’ll also be offensively challenged.
Both teams will be scrapping all over the place tonight, and it’s going to come down to the team who wants it more.
Prediction: The Clippers will win if they hold Memphis to under 105 points.