Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
5:00 p.m. PST
February 27, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
Watch out for those Z-bows!
1. Will the Grizzlies snatch the top seed in the West by the end of the regular season?
Ari Alexander, WMC Action News 5 Sports, (@AriA1exander): Will they get the top seed? I think they have the possibility, but the Grizz have the most back to backs of anyone in the West left and a very tough schedule. I think they’ll be more likely to try to navigate the 2-4 spots and try to avoid the Spurs rather than have enough firepower to get the 1 seed.
Ben Mesirow, (@SemNeb): No. The Warriors have just been too good, especially at home, to let the number one seed slip through their grasp. Memphis has been excellent, but (last night in Cleveland notwithstanding) Golden State has just been blowing people away.
Roscoe Whalan, (@RoscoeWhalan7): A tentative yes. The Warriors seem to have taken their foot off the accelerator just a bit since the All-Star break (2-2). Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are hitting their straps and despite a small stumble in Sacramento, seem to be just warming up. Although, with Oklahoma City occupying that eighth seed right now, maybe we’ll see a tactical tank for the second seed?
2. Who’s been the key to the Grizzlies’ bench?
Alexander: That’s a tough question because a lot of the players have been equally useful. Beno Udrih is probably the flashiest answer here, since he’s the top offensive option off the bench. Udrih’s midrange game has been unstoppable all season long, and now that the Grizzlies pair him with Nick Calathes, Udrih can play off the ball. The unsung hero has been Kosta Koufos. The 7-footer has been setting great screens and playing high level defense all season.
Mesirow: The bench in general has been impressive, Nick Calathes’ D and Kosta Koufos’ presence in particular, but it’s Tony Allen right? The way he just keeps doing Tony Allen things, playing suffocating D, firing up the Grizz and frustrating their opponents, and grabbing sneaky offensive rebounds at about the same rate at which he’s taking threes has been both wonderful and infuriating to watch.
Whalan: Nothing like violating the NBA’s drug policy to improve team depth. Nick Calathes’ 20-game suspension through last year’s playoffs was unfortunate but signing Beno Udrih who’s emerged as a quality back up (again) means that this season the Grizzlies are spoilt for choice. Depending on match ups, Memphis can go to either of these guys who are more than capable of controlling this very impressive second unit.
3. Is Jordan Hamilton with the Clippers for a good time or a long time?
Alexander: I like the Clippers getting Jordan Hamilton because the bench is struggling so badly in perimeter defense. Earlier in the trade period, I thought Tayshaun Prince would have been a nice fit for the Clips. Dahntay Jones hasn’t gotten any playing time, so I don’t think Hamilton will get enough time to earn more than maybe another 10-day.
Mesirow: Through no fault of his own I think he’s here for a good time not a long time. He’s the sort of rangy wing with a decent three point shot that the Clippers can really use, but it remains to be seen if he can escape Doc’s bench. If he does I see two options, both of which are sort of a bummer for the Clippers – he’ll either be ineffective and won’t stick, or he’ll play himself into a contract that’s richer than the Clippers will be able to afford this summer.
Whalan: Weird signing by GM Doc; he didn’t play for the Celtics circa 2008 and he’s not exactly a vet. I’m sure Coach Doc will remedy this though by firmly welding Hamilton to the end of the bench.