I’ve been sitting down for a bit to write a recap on that crazy Game Three win, but my fingers won’t let me type anything other than REGGIE EVANS over and over again. Here’s my Lob City Ledger from ESPNLA.com in the meantime:
Nothing was easy for Griffin. The Grizzlies effectively “walled up” inside and forced Griffin to try to smash through them. Although the one-on-one stuff worked to varying degrees, there was a light bulb moment late in the game. As Chris Paul attracted a crowd, Griffin cut hard baseline for an easy score. The Grizzlies weren’t getting smaller, so credit Griffin for getting smarter.
Be quick, but don’t hurry. Finding the right tempo has been tricky, but ultimately Paul did the right thing by looking out for himself first. Paul’s scoring mentality freed up his shooters on the perimeter. Although it may feel backward for a natural point guard like Paul, playing slow and putting his own scoring first was the right thing to do.
Reggie Evans was the hero this game deserved. The Clippers looked as if they were going to get beat up under the boards, but Evans altered the course of the game with his phenomenal box outs, crucial offensive rebounds and complete ball denial for Zach Randolph in the post. The Grizzlies thrive on being tougher than their opponent and playing ugly, but Evans is cut from the exact same cloth.
No lead is ever safe. The Grizzlies looked done after the Clippers played great defense in the fourth quarter, but Rudy Gay hit some impossible 3-pointers to pull them back in it. The Clippers’ shoddy free-throw shooting gave Gay the chance to be the hero at the buzzer, but the shot narrowly rimmed out, symbolizing just how close this series has been.
The possession war wages on. The Grizzlies’ swarming defense was impressive once again, but their inability to hold on to the ball and collect offensive rebounds was the big difference in Game 3. The Grizzlies did a fine job mucking up the game and getting to the line a ton, but in the end, they were beat at their own game.