Grizzlies vs. Clippers: Will Los Angeles be too much? (2012 NBA Playoffs WCQF Game 3 Preview)

May 2, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) during the second half of game two in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. Memphis won 105-98. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Records: The Memphis Grizzlies (41-25) vs. the Los Angeles Clippers (40-26)

Time: 4:30 PM EST

Place: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

TV: ESPN, ESPN3

Enemy Blog(s): ClipsNation

Previous Matchups: Game 1, Game 2 (Series tied at 1-1)


Tonight marks Game 3 of a the series that has taken the NBA world by storm: the Memphis Grizzlies versus the Los Angeles Clippers. Marked by physical basketball and historic comebacks, the series is tied at 1-1. It's hard to believe that there has only been two games played this series. As much as we have been reading and talking about it, it seems like there has been much more basketball than two games played.

Coming at no surprise, the players are looking at tonight's winner as the more physical team:

"We have to be the more aggressive team. That's the biggest thing," Blake Griffin said last night.

Tonight's a big game - with it being in Los Angeles, a win to take a 2-1 lead in the series will send a strong message from the Grizzlies to the Clippers. Clippers fans will be loud and a force - tonight marks the first home postseason game at the Staples Center since 2006.

The biggest story tonight - how on earth does a team stop Chris Paul? After putting up 29 points and 6 steals in Game 2, Paul is in position to continue dominance, especially in front of a basketball-hungry Clippers crowd. Does coach Hollins continue to let Mike Conley guard him, or does he put in the strong defensive presence of Tony Allen? Even with a strong defense, can Chris Paul be stopped? Or are the Clippers beat (as in Game 2) by shutting everybody else down?

As for the Grizzlies, tonight rests on Zach Randolph and (as always, for some reason) Rudy Gay. Will tonight by Zach Randolph's night when he returns to the bar he set with his 2011 playoff performance? Or is the mere possibility of that performance gone with Rudy Gay on the court? Rudy Gay must rise up to the challenge of playing leadership basketball in an opposing team's court. His shots have been sloppy and forced - tonight he must slow down enough to play slow, mature basketball.

Regardless, this series does not fail to produce nail-biting games. Honestly, I'm hoping a Game 7 isn't in our future - even if it is, we gotta grind out Game 3 first.

Final Prediction: Memphis 99, Los Angeles 95

Drop your thoughts below, Grizz fans. Game thread will be up and running - we need your support!

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