Griffin initially fell victim to old Clipper Law in his first playoff appearance: everything that could go wrong did. The Grizzlies’ defense was suffocating and rarely allowed him uncontested opportunities, but Griffin also shied away from multiple chances early on. Maybe it took a huge deficit to relieve some of the pressure, because Griffin finally turned it on and helped plenty during the Clippers’ huge comeback.
Basketball’s Houdini did it again. Chris Paul found himself on the bench to start the fourth facing a huge deficit, but he insisted on being put in a game he unbelievably still felt was winnable. Paul’s ability to create for open shooters and finally carve up a Grizzlies defense that suffocated him all night may have been his best trick yet. With Paul, the Clippers are truly never out of it.
Nick Young has two things Mo Williams, Caron Butler and Randy Foye don’t — athleticism and no conscience. Young provided just the spark the Clippers needed with his ability to nail the corner 3-pointer while still providing the threat of a pump fake or drive. With Butler injuring his hand, Young might be called upon for another rescue job very soon.
The Clippers were only “mostly dead.” After a rough three quarters, the Clippers miraculously went on a 28-3 run, sparked by the rebounding of Reggie Evans, the fearless shooting of Nick Young, and the closing ability of Chris Paul. Although the Clippers had plenty of comebacks in the regular season, this was one of the most incredible playoff comebacks ever.
The Grizzlies went from looking completely unstoppable for three quarters to plenty vulnerable in the last. Which one is indicative of the real team? Neither. The Grizzlies aren’t the offense that couldn’t miss early on, and they’re not the defense that choked away a 27-point lead late. They’re a resilient bunch, but the Grizzlies might not be able to bounce back from one of the most epic collapses ever seen.