The Los Angeles Clippers have to be at least a little happy that they got a split on the road. However, Game Two was a very winnable game, and the Clips could just as easily be sitting pretty at 2-0 right now. Granted, their miracle comeback in Game One was highly unlikely, so they could certainly be 0-2. Therefore, being 1-1 might be something to be thankful for in this series. Here are a few keys to success in Game Three.
As in any playoff game, the Clippers have to come out strong. Throughout the season, the Clippers would sometimes have a bad habit of starting slow and depending on their talent to get them back in the game. They did start off strong in Game Two, but then they eased off on the throttle and allowed the Grizz to get back into the game with more aggressive play. Los Angeles needs to start hot and keep pushing.
Cleaning the glass
The Memphis Grizzlies got way too many rebounds in Game Two, particularly on the offensive end. This cannot happen in Game Three. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have to get back to fundamentals and put a body on someone when the shot goes up. Each needs to have double-digits in rebounds. They can't rely to Kenyon Martin and Reggie Evans to be the only players that go after boards. Otherwise, the Grizz are going to get way too many second looks.
Protecting the ball
Finally, the Clippers have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. They had 20 turnovers against Memphis in Game Two. Chris Paul is going to have the ball in his hands a lot, so some of those turnovers will be understandable. However, the Clippers really need to keep the team turnovers under 10 if they want to have a solid shot at winning this game.
The author grew up in Seattle and now lives in Los Angeles, where he waits patiently for the Sonics to return to the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, he roots for the Clippers to become a winning franchise, and perhaps even the most popular team in their own city. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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