Clippers and Grizzlies rivalry remains more of the same
LOS ANGELES – More of the same intensity. More of the same vitriol. And more of the same contrasting styles.
The coaches may have changed and the Clippers (7-3), who have started 5-0 at home and are on a four-game winning streak overall, and Grizzlies (5-5) may have a few new pieces on their respective rosters. But the stylistic differences remain. When the rivals meet for the 21st time in less than two years on Monday night at Staples Center, it truly will be more of the same.
Listen to Jared Dudley and Darren Collison at today’s shootaround in preparation for the game.
“I expect the same thing,” said Blake Griffin, who has been a part of all of the previous 20 games against Memphis, including 13 in the Playoffs. “But we’ll be ready. We’re looking forward to it and I know they are. It’s not quite the Playoffs yet, but with them it’s a physical game and it will be the same type of style.”
That Playoff-type atmosphere has been commonplace for the Clippers. They have played six games against teams with seven wins or more through Sunday. Not to mention a pair of road games in hostile surroundings. With Memphis in town for the first time since eliminating the Clippers from the postseason in six games, the atmosphere will be like using a bonfire to warm a 16-ounce can of soup.
“You can watch Memphis against anyone and it’s going to be contentious,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “That’s just the way they play. They’re physical. They bump. Clearly, we didn’t handle it well [in the Playoffs]. We have an opportunity on Monday, but that’s still early in the season.”
Eight players remain from last year’s team, including forward Matt Barnes, who says they are looking forward to Monday night.
“Anytime you go up 2-0 in a playoff series and get swept out, that still sticks with you,” Barnes said after the Clippers’ 110-103 win over Brooklyn on Saturday. “I circle these games so I’m going to be excited. I’m sure they’re going to be excited. So, it’s going to be a fun game.”
There’s much more to read at Clippers.com. And don’t miss the game tonight! The pre-game show starts at 7pm here on KFWB NEWS TALK 9808!