epa03677299 Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, of Spain, (C) fights… (MIKE BROWN / EPA )
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In the Clippers' eyes, there's only one way to slow down the backboard-attacking Memphis Grizzlies.
"Everybody has to rebound," Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said.
That's what helped the Clippers win Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference playoff series as the Clippers outrebounded Memphis in both games.
But when the Clippers didn't generate a collective rebounding effort in Game 3, it led to the Grizzlies outrebounding them, 45-33, and it led to a defeat. Worse, the Clippers were eaten up on the offensive glass, giving up 17 offensive rebounds.
That's what the Clippers talked about at practice Friday as they prepared to meet the Grizzlies in Game 4 Saturday afternoon at the FedEx Forum. The Clippers lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
"I think it's a mind-set," said Blake Griffin, who had only two rebounds in Game 3. "We came out in Game 1 and really had the mind-set of executing our game plan. It wasn't just the bigs that were keeping guys off the glass. Our guards were coming in and rebounding."
Jordan leads the Clippers in rebounding (8.0 a game) in the series. Griffin is second (5.0), Lamar Odom is third (4.7) and Chris Paul is fourth (4.0).
Memphis power forward Zach Randolph had 11 rebounds in Game 3, six of them offensive rebounds. In some ways, that's expected because Randolph led the league in offensive rebounds (4.1) during the regular season.
Memphis guard Tony Allen also had nine rebounds, two offensive.
The Grizzlies averaged 12.9 offensive rebounds during the season, tied for the third-best in the NBA.
"If me and Blake box out Marc [Gasol] and Zach, and Tony Allen gets the offensive rebound, then that hurts us," Jordan said. "That's why it takes all five of us. It's not just the bigs. It's not just the guards. It's everybody."
Paul plans to attack
Paul took only 11 shots in Game 3 and scored eight points.
More so, the Clippers' All-Star point guard had more turnovers (five) than field goals (four) and assists (four) in the loss.
"I've just got to be more aggressive," Paul said. "I played 30-something minutes and didn't shoot one free throw."
Paul was asked how he plans on being more aggressive.
"I don't know," Paul said. "I have to just wait and see, to tell you the truth. I don't ever know what's going to happen going into any game. But we'll be all right."
One thing, Paul said, is that he and Griffin have to attack more.
"It definitely sets the tone," Paul said. "Guys fed off me and Blake being aggressive early. Then Jamal [Crawford] can come in and be aggressive too. So, we've got to go. These are the playoffs."
It was subtle, but Chauncey Billups noticed an adjustment the Grizzlies made in Game 3.
"I could tell they came into the game saying that our bench really hurt them," Billups said after practice Friday. "They took their starters out a little early and brought a lot of their starters back into the game late [in the first quarter] to play against our bench.
"That was smart. That was a good adjustment by them. But we've got to do a good job of countering that. When they do bring in some of those bench guys against us [starters], we've got to take advantage of that unit."