The Los Angeles Clippers are going to have a shot to go up 3-1 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals if they can beat the NBA betting lines on Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series.
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The Grizzlies are now just 15-19 this year on the road, and either this game or Game 6 are going to have to be won on the road at the Staples Center if they are to get through to the second round of the playoffs. Memphis clearly was not the better team in Game 3 here in Tinseltown down the stretch, but the difference in this series at the moment is that the Grizz weren’t able to capitalize when the Clips let their guard down, a la what happened in Game 1 to the hosts when they blew that epic 27 point lead. Of course, if not for that seven-minute run in the fourth quarter without a field goal, perhaps the Grizzlies would not have needed Rudy Gay to go on a big run at the end of the game just to get back within striking distance. Memphis needs to step up and prove that it is the better team in this series and do it right now, or it is going to be potentially too steep of a hill to climb to get back in the playoffs.
Head Coach Vinny Del Negro has to know that he is quite lucky right now. He got his team to play well down the stretch and take a lead in the fourth quarter, but these problems at the foul line just have to stop. The Clips went just 13-of-30 in freebees in Game 3, and that just isn’t going to cut it, especially in the closing minutes of close games. All of the missed foul shots took a game that should have been over and decided by at least a half dozen points and turned it into a game that was nearly lost at the gun, even without the perks of overtime. Some more balanced scoring would probably help out Los Angeles as well. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin both did their thing as expected, and the man that really stepped up was Randy Foye, who knocked down four of the five three-point attempts that he had over the course of the game to score 16 points. Outside of that though, the leading scorer off of the bench was Mo Williams, who had just eight points.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Los Angeles Clippers Pick: The Clippers were a whole heck of a lot better playing here in Tinseltown than they were on the road all season long, and we see no reason that that is going to change in this one. This is a very short point spread to be dealing with, even in a game that might be a do-or-die essentially for the Grizzlies. Go with Lob City to light up the night on Monday.
Free Basketball Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -1
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.