Throughout the season, a lot of fans, writers and other observers wondered if the Los Angeles Clippers were going to have a problem getting all of their guards not named Chris Paul playing time. It wasn't a problem during the season in part due to injuries to Chauncey Billups for most of the season and the desire to limit Paul's minutes.
Paul led the way with 23 points and seven assists, but it was the contributions of Billups, Bledsoe and Crawford that helped keep the Clippers in front for the entire 48 minutes of the series opener. Billups' 14 points were a welcomed addition for a guy who hadn't played much this season due to injury. They've been used to contributions all season, but it was Bledsoe's 15 points on 7-for-7 shooting and six rebounds that sparked the Clippers' bench.
After the game, head coach Vinny Del Negro discussed the challenge of getting all of his guards minutes. "Do they all want to be out there? Of course," Del Negro said. "But I think you have to find out what match-ups work."
Paul added that playing with Billups and Bledsoe at the same time was "pick your poison" for opposing defenses. For a Grizzlies team that was out-rebounded by 24 in Game 1, worrying about the Clippers' different guard combinations is just another adjustment to add to the list for Game 2.
Quotes via NBA.com live stream.