LOS ANGELES – The Grizzlies lost the opener of their first-round playoff series to the Clippers 112-91 Saturday night. These three talking points stood out in the aftermath:
1. Rebounding is no small thing
The Grizzlies were one of the better rebounding teams in the NBA this season, especially on the offensive boards. But they were pounded relentlessly by the Clippers, who held a 47-23 edge, including 14-4 in offensive rebounds.
Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies in rebounding and led the league in offensive rebounds, but in Game 1 he was held to four total rebounds – none on the offensive glass.
2. Can the Grizzlies keep the pace?
The Clippers’ preferred pace is fast, although they also believe they’re a strong team in the half-court.
But in the first and third quarters, when they had opportunities to run in transition, they did, and Memphis wasn’t able to keep up.
The Grizzlies led the league in average points allowed (89.5), but the Clippers scored 112. The Grizzlies gave up more than 112 just once during the regular season.
3. Keep up the bruising style
Zach Randolph might not have had a strong game, but he did make Blake Griffin work hard to get shots and rebounds.
Griffin fouled out in the fourth quarter, which was not insignificant, but the Clippers pulled away because of their strong bench play.
Randolph will have to keep the pressure on Griffin throughout the series — and he’ll have to hit the boards better than he did Saturday.