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Game of the Night: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers

May 3, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) takes a three point shot against Memphis Grizzlies point guard Keyon Dooling (55) in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at FedEx Forum. The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 118-105. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Not a ton of games to choose from for tonight’s Game of the Night, but one game stands out from the rest: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers.

Over the past few years, these two have formed a real rivalry, meeting in the first round of the playoffs each of the last two seasons. In 2011-12, it was the Clippers taking the series, 4-3. Then last year, the Grizzlies got revenge, claiming the series 4-2, after losing the opening two games. The two squads genuinely seem to dislike each other, something rare in today’s NBA world.

Tonight, they resume their rivalry when they meet for the first time this year.

Things haven’t gone so smoothly for the Grizzlies through the first few weeks of the new season, though they’ve righted the ship a bit, winning their last two contests. But the battle with the Clippers tonight begins a grueling four game stretch in which they also face the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets. If they hope to get a few wins against these teams – all of whom possess excellent offensive repertoires – the Grizzlies will have to be at their “Grit-n-Grind” best, especially with how poor their own offense has been to start the year. (They rank 21st in the league in offensive efficiency rating.)

The Clippers, meanwhile, have been piling up the points, failing to score over 100 just two times, and boast an impressive 109.2 offensive efficiency rating – good for 2nd in the league. Chris Paul has been as dominant as ever, and their offseason pickups – J.J. Redick especially – have fit perfectly.

The Pick: I just can’t see the Grizzlies putting up enough points to stay with the Clippers. Chris Paul and company take home the win 105-91.

National TV: None

Local TV: TSOH (Grizzlies) | FSW2 (Clippers) | Or Check League Pass

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

 

jmaloney