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Clippers look to take series lead over Grizzlies as Warriors look to eliminate Nuggets


One of the best first round series thus far in the NBA postseason is the Los Angeles Clippers versus the Memphis Grizzlies. The two teams met last year in the postseason and the Clippers were able to eliminate the Grizzlies in seven games.

This post season the outcome looked as if it would be the same when Los Angeles jumped out to a 2-0 series lead. However, the Grizzlies have battled back to even the series with two straight wins at home.

Now the best of seven series returns back to Los Angeles as a best of three with two of the three being played in Los Angeles.

Chris Paul, the Clippers all-star point guard, knows how important winning game 5 is for the team. The intensity level said Paul must be very high just as it was when the Clippers won games 1 and 2 on their home court.

Often times the phrase, “must win” is over used during the long NBA season, but this is a close to an elimination game as you can get without actually being one. The Clippers lost two tough games in Memphis and do not want to return to play the Grizzlies in game 6 in Memphis trailing in the series 3-2 and on the brink of elimination.

The series has turned in the Grizzlies favor thanks to them out rebounding the Clippers, outscoring Los Angeles in the paint, getting more second chance points and going to the free throw line more often.

The Clippers need to attack the Memphis big men, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph on offense. In the Clippers two wins to start the series, both big men got into early foul trouble and that dictated the games for the Clippers.

The Clippers have to get both Blake Griffin and fellow big man DeAndre Jordan into the mix offensively. Their teammates must also help the two on the defensive boards.

Even though some observers feel the pressure has been put back on the Clippers, veteran guard Chauncey Billups disagrees. Billups said the series is now just three games and they have the advantage since two will be played in Los Angeles.

Billups insisted that the reason home court advantage is fought for so much down the stretch during the regular season is because winning on the road is so difficult in the playoffs.

Los Angeles might not have history in their favor in many things in the NBA, especially the postseason, but 94% o the teams that have won the first two games during a series of seven games, have ended up winning the series.

Since the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated on Sunday from the playoffs after being swept by the San Antonio Spurs, the only other Pacific division team beside the Clippers left in the postseason is Golden State.

The Warriors lead their best of seven series with the Denver Nuggets 3-1 and can eliminate the Nuggets with a win at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Tuesday night.

The Warriors have had to readjust their lineup and start smaller players after losing David Lee to injury. The new look has proved difficult for Denver to matchup against and Golden State has won three straight games.

This is just the first round with much basketball left to be played since the team that wins the NBA finals needs 16 wins before being crowned the Champions.

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