Memphis Grizzlies Host Los Angeles Clippers in Potential Playoff Preview

Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies
FedEx Forum – Memphis, Tennessee
Monday, April 9, 2012, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBA League Pass
Opening Line: Memphis -4
Current Line: Memphis -4
Opening Total: 186
Current Total: 186
Opening Money Line: Grizzlies -200 / Clippers +170
Current Money Line: Grizzlies -170 / Clippers +150

Rudy Gay and the Grizzlies host the Clippers Monday night in a key Western Conference match-up. Memphis is a 4 point favorite at home.

If the NBA playoffs started today the 35-22 Los Angeles Clippers and the 32-23 Memphis Grizzlies would meet in the first round of the playoffs in the 4-5 series in the West. However, both teams have a realistic shot of moving up to the #3 seed. The Lakers currently hold that spot, but lead the Clippers by only a half game for the Pacific Division title. The Clippers are a game and a half ahead of the Grizzlies for the #4 seed.

The Clippers are coached by Vinny Del Negro. They have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games, including sweeping a home and home against Sacramento Thursday 93-85 and Saturday 109-94. The Grizzlies, coached by Lionel Hollins, have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, and 5-1 in their last 6. The Grizzlies have won 2 games in a row with wins at Miami 97-82 and at home against Dallas 94-89.

The Clippers won both previous meetings this season against the Grizzlies, both in LA. The Clips won 98-91 January 26 and 101-85 March 24. The Clippers have never swept The Grizzlies during the regular season but can do so with a win today.

Los Angeles is outscoring opponents 98-95 this season. The Clippers are shooting 45.3% from the field and 35.1% from 3 point range. LA makes 68.1% of their free throws. The Clippers average 41.9 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of 2.3. LA averages 21.2 assists, 13.4 turnovers, 8.3 steals, and 4.7 blocks a game. Clipper opponents are shooting 44.5% from the field and 36.5% from 3 point range. The Clips force 14.4 turnovers a game.

Clipper forward Blake Griffin averages 20.8 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists. He leads the Clippers in scoring and is tied for 5th in rebounding in the league. Point guard Chris Paul averages 19.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 9.1 assists, and 2.5 steals a game. Paul is third in the NBA in assists and leads the league in steals. Guard Nick Young was acquired from the Wizards before the trade deadline. He is averaging 15.2 points a game. Guard Chauncey Billups averaged 15 points and 4 assists before he tore his ACL. Guard Mo Williams is doubtful with a toe injury. He is averaging 13.6 points, 3.1 assists, and 1 steal a game. Forward Caron Butler averages 12.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. Guard Randy Foye averages 10.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists a game. Center DeAndre Jordan averages 8.3 rebounds and leads the team in blocks with 2 a game.

The Grizzlies are outscoring opponents 95-94 this season. The Grizzlies are #8 in points allowed in the league. Memphis is shooting 44.5% from the field and 33% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies make 75.4% of their free throws. Memphis averages 42.2 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +1.1. The Grizzlies average 19.7 assists, 14.4 turnovers, 9.8 steals, and 5.2 blocks a game. Memphis opponents are shooting 44.6% from the field and 35.1% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies force 17.2 turnovers a game.

Memphis forward Rudy Gay averages 18.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. Center Marc Gasol averages 15.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.9 blocks a game. He leads the Grizzlies in rebounds and blocks. Point guard Mike Conley averages¬† 12.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 2.4 steals a game. He leads the Grizzlies in assists and steals. Shooting guard O.J. Mayo averages 12.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. Power forward Zach Randolph averages 12.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. He is questionable Monday night for an undisclosed reason. Guard Tony Allen averages 10.5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.7 steals a game. He is doubtful with a mouth laceration. Forward Darrell Arthur is out for the season with a torn Achilles’ tendon. Newly acquired guard Gilbert Arenas has been providing a spark off the bench in the 8 games he has played for the Grizzlies.

Memphis is 26-29 ATS and the total is 21-34 this season. Los Angeles is 29-27 ATS and the total is 27-28-1 this season. Five of the last six games in this series have gone under the total. The Clippers are 4-1 ATS as an underdog of 4.5 points or less, overall, and against Western Conference teams, 6-2 in road games against teams with winning home records, 5-2 after a straight up win, on 1 day rest, and after scoring 100 points or more, 7-3 as an underdog, 16-38 against Southwest teams, and 4-10 after a straight up win of 10 points or more. The Grizzlies are 21-10 ATS as a favorite of 4.5 points or less, including 20-6 as a favorite, 3-8 on one day rest, 2-7 as a favorite, and 1-5 against Pacific division teams.

Both of these teams are red hot since their last meeting. Both could be dangerous sleepers in the playoffs. I like Memphis playing at home where the Grizzlies have won 4 straight and 10 of their last 12.

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