The Clippers just took game 1 of the series against the Grizzlies behind a statement making 4th qtr from their Bench led by Eric Bledsoe... Final Score 112-91. Clippers cored 37points in the 4th.... Bledsoe was 7-7 with 15pts, 6rbs, 4assts
Memphis went totally cold in the 4th Quarter because they couldn't score without Z-Bo on the floor. I think Game 1 was a clear indication of how they miss Rudy Gay. During the playoffs, each team needs a guy that can go one on one against anybody and get a bucket. The Grizzlies have a great defensive team and an all around offensive attack that's built around the Bigs, but in the 4th Quarter when you get behind, Conley and Prince just aren't the perimeter players that can create their own shot when the team needs one. Bayless can do it sometimes but he has no where near the skillset or advantage that the 6'8 Rudy Gay boasts.
I understand the move completely by Hollinger and the team did seem to get better.
However everyone knows that successful playoff teams need that certain type of player that they can go to plays need to be made down the stretch during playoff basketball. Unfortunately Rudy Gay was that player for the Memphis Grizzlies.
I can't say they miss Gay because the year he didn't play if not for OKC, they could of gone all the way
Only difference is Zach Randolph was playing like a man possessed.
This time around, he's just trying to get himself going.
We overlook the fact that Z-Bo was playing better than he had ever played/will play while overanalyzing Rudy Gay not playing.
Can a 31 year old Z-Bo put up 22ppg, 11rpg, and shoot 8 ft/g like he did 2 years ago in the playoffs? I don't think so.
That's why trading Gay was a terrible idea (from a basketball standpoint) because they lack the scoring punch. Also, Mayo was a key-piece in that run and I don't think Bayless can make up for OJ Mayo's scoring ability.
So now, we're not just looking at an 18-20 PPG perimeter scorer gone but a 10-12ppg spark off the bench as well as a 22ppg, 11rpg big-man downlow.
I'm not trying to say the Grizzlies can't win this series, I still believe it will go 7 games. But this isn't the same Grizzlies teams from two years ago. Nowhere near.
If Billups is healthy and playing well,he helps Chris Paul to give that team stability,direction and a sense of purpose....Without him they're an immature bunch,that tries to cater to the crowd......
Memphis did trade Rudy Gay too early...His perimeter play made thing seasier for Z Bo and Gasol...And when their outside shots arent falling teams sag in on their bigs...Another thing they miss about Rudy is his length and athleticism...Even though Randolph and Z Bo are the best center/power forward combination in the nba..But they're not that athletic,They sometimes have trouble with teams like the Clippers,Lakers and Thunder becuz of their athleticism and length..But i'm still picking Memphis to win this series...
everyone underrated the clippers' ability to play defense. i rmbr some commentators warning fans that the clippers can play defense and most people arent aware of that because of their highflying stuff...well i think everyone is aware of that now
TOL23 makes the right points, still, I don't think they'd be that much better off with Gay now. I agree that they aren't going to be able to duplicate that success without Zbo and Gasol playing at a high level (Or at the very least, outplaying Griffin and DJ) but it's not like Rudy Gay really fit well with the Grizzlies. He is a very inefficient player, and let's not discount the fact they've played great since trading Gay.
They only lost one game, and the Clippers played really really well in that game. if the Clips play like that throughout the series, of course they are going to win.