The NBA plays just four games on Saturday night with all eyes on Memphis as the Grizzlies host the Los Angeles Clippers. The result of this game will go a long way to sorting out the details for a possible match-up next week in the first round of the playoffs.
The Clippers have locked up at least a No. 4 seed in the Western Conference as the Pacific Division champs, but in a 4-5 playoff match-up, homecourt advantage goes to the team with the better record regardless of seed. Currently, Memphis has that No. 5 spot and a one-game advantage over the Clippers for homecourt advantage, but with a loss on Friday by the Denver Nuggets, the No. 3 spot in the West remains in play for the Clippers.
Both teams are playing well as the regular season draws to a close. Memphis won on the road in Houston on Friday for their third-consecutive win while the Clippers won their fourth straight by beating the New Orleans Hornets. The Clippers currently lead the season series 2-1 and, among the many factors in this match-up as Steve Perrin at Clips Nation notes, these two teams are developing a distaste for one another that could lead to an intense playoff series.
No love lost. These teams don't like each other. Hard fought seven game playoff series will do that to teams, not to mention regular season games laden with playoff implications. Randolph in particular seems to have a real beef with Blake Griffin and will take every opportunity to rough him up. How the Clippers handle the Grizzlies physical nature -- and perhaps more importantly, how the refs call the game -- will be a big factor tonight. If the refs allow a lot of pushing and shoving, then advantage Memphis. Either way, we expect a couple of technical fouls and one flagrant, at least.
Here's a look at the full schedule:
|AWAY||HOME||TIME (ET)||NATIONAL TV||AWAY TV||HOME TV|
|Celtics||Magic||7:00 PM||CSN-NewEngland||FOX Sports Florida|
|Bucks||Bobcats||7:00 PM||FOX Sports Wisconsin||SportsSouth|
|Suns||Timberwolves||8:00 PM||FOX Sports Arizona||My29 WFTC|
|Clippers||Grizzlies||8:00 PM||NBATV||FOX Prime Ticket||SportsSouth|