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As Griffin’s injury heals, Clippers desperate
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 2, 2013 @ 10:12 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Yannis Koutroupis, USA Today Sports
LOS ANGELES — As the Los Angeles Clippers put their season on the line, the odds and the front-line matchups are stacked against them.
While leaving Staples Center is its own challenge, the Clippers have other problems. They will try to slow down the Memphis Grizzlies’ interior duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Memphis’ big men have taken the series over since the Game 2.
“We double teamed Zach and Gasol, but they hurt us with cutters and offensive rebounds,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “And with the zone, we played it a little bit, but it opens up the glass on you. They’re so effective on the glass. There’s nothing off of the board, we’re looking at everything. We had a good practice today and now it’s about coming in, bringing the intensity at the highest level and putting the pressure on them to make plays. Bu it’s defensively, rebounding and finding bodies, doing all the things we know we need to do.”
Trying to contain Randolph and Gasol is a daunting task when healthy, but the Clippers may not be at full strength. All-Star forward Blake Griffin suffered an ankle injury before Game 5 and the team is still unsure of his status for Friday’s game.
“It’s a little better today,” Griffin said. “But, we’ll see how it is after sitting on it for the next 24 hours. We’ll have to see tomorrow.
“The first day, I guess Tuesday, it felt OK and before the game it felt OK. Yesterday was kind of a step backwards, but today it was better. So, it’s been fluctuating I guess.”
Griffin was limited to 20 minutes in Game 5. But depth has been one of the Clippers’ strengths this season. Friday’s game could put that to the test.
“We’ll adjust,” said Clippers guard Chris Paul. “Hopefully he’s able to go. Blake is one of those guys who has a lot of fight and he’s going to do everything he can. But if he feels he’s going to hurt the team then he won’t. But, we have guys like (Lamar Odom), Grant Hill, Matt … [For more on As Blake Griffin's injury heals, Clippers get desperate, click here.]
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