Grizzlies vs. Clippers Game 3: Chris Paul = Captain America: Leader of Men
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A game like this is why you do whatever you have to make the trade for Chris Paul. The Clippers came back in the 4th quarter again to snatch the win away from the Grizzlies 87-86. When healthy, there’s pretty much no argument that CP3 is the best point guard in the game. Sure there are more explosive scorers, better shooters, better athleticism, bigger, faster, and stronger players. But none of them have the complete control of a game like Paul. He seems to always make the right play at the right time. Makes the big shot or makes the perfect pass. The stat sheet shows 24 points, 11 assists, and 4 steals. But it doesn’t show how CP3’s refusal to lose rubbed off on his teammates. Just like game 1, Reggie Evans went crazy in the 4th quarter. Grabbing two huge offensive rebounds on missed free throws was probably the turning point in the game. With Eric Bledsoe at the line with 4:11 left and the Grizzlies up 79-75, Evans out hustled everyone for a put back lay-up. How crazy is it that Evans has swung two playoffs games? The guy has no visible talent other than annoying other players and out hustling them. It’s players with that kind of motor who I’d rather have on my team, than guys who are talented but look all that interested. Why don’t GM’s draft more guys who have motors and are productive versus players with more upside but little production? Anyways, back to the Clippers. Blake Griffin didn’t have a particular good game, 17 points and 4 rebounds. But he had his usual highlight dunks, but still can’t make any free throws or a 12-foot jumper to save his life. I really hope this summer instead of making commercials and Funny or Die videos; he just watches film of Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon. Hey Blake! If you want to stop getting hit by Zach Randolph and other guys, start learning to hit that elbow jumpshot!!! You can’t dunk on everyone forever.
As for the rest of the Clippers, Randy Foye had a big game, 16 points and a huge three to time the game, and played most of the crunch time minutes over Nick Young. (I told you Ben!). Even though Foye was guarding Rudy Gay for most of the 4th quarter, the huge height disparity didn’t kill the Clippers. Young scored only 7 points in 18 minutes. Surprisingly Caron Butler player with a broken left hand, but was pretty much ineffective. DeAndre Jordan was pretty much non-existent. 18 minutes 0 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block. This game was all CP3. He got these guys the W. But the Grizzlies had a helping hand in giving this game to the Clippers.
The Grizzlies had 4 players score in double digits. They had the lead down to the 3:48minute mark of the 4th quarter. Then they couldn’t do anything offensively. They could only score 15 points in the quarter. Give credit to the Clippers who played really good defense. This was a really closely played game from the start. The half time score was 50-46 Clippers. Then the Grizzlies pulled ahead until they let this one slip away. Randolph scored 17 points and had 6 rebounds. He’s nowhere near the level of where he was last year when he was putting up 20-10 every game. Gay dropped 24 points and did his best to lead the Grizzlies to the win, hitting 2 ridiculous threes late in the game. Former UW Husky Quincy Pondexter had a good game scoring 11 points. He should’ve been playing more minutes over the struggling O.J. Mayo. Two reasons why the Grizzlies lost were coach Lionel Hollins waited too long to put Marc Gasol back in the game with 5 fouls and the playing of Mayo. Gasol didn’t go into the game till almost the 3:00 mark. Mayo was 1-8 shooting. Your team is struggling to score in the 4th quarter; maybe you should take the guy who’s shooting 1-8 and try someone else. Put in Pondexter or Gilbert Arenas at least. Hell put in Tony Allen! The Grizzlies should be leading this series, even maybe up 3-0. I thought the first 4th quarter collapse was a fluke, but now I’m not so sure. Clearly the Grizzlies have no one like Chris Paul. Someone on that team needs to take command of the 4th quarter and show the Grizzlies they should win the game. That’s what Paul does for the Clippers. You have to believe the game is yours and attack those who try to take it from you.
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