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Memphis has slight edge over Clippers in rebounding before Game 5

Memphis averages 37.8 rebounds a game to Clippers' 37.0 in the first four playoff games. But those numbers don't tell the whole story.

April 30, 2013|By Broderick Turner
  • Memphis Grizzlies Tayshaun Prince (21) battles Clippers' Ronny Turiaf, left, and Matt Barnes for a rebound.
Memphis Grizzlies Tayshaun Prince (21) battles Clippers' Ronny… (Mike Brown / EPA )

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Overall, the Clippers were just barely losing the rebounding battle to the Grizzlies before Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round playoff series at Staples Center.

Memphis was averaging 37.8 rebounds per game in the first four games and the Clippers were getting 37.0.

But it was in the last two games in Memphis when the Clippers fell apart.

In the two games in Memphis, the Clippers were outrebounded 90-61 and outscored 44-6 in second-chance points.

Also, in the two games in Memphis, the Clippers gave up 27 offensive rebounds.

"The last couple of games we haven't rebounded enough," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We haven't been physical enough."

Del Negro said it hasn't just been Memphis power forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol who has given the Clippers problems on the backboards.

Randolph was averaging 8.0 rebounds in the first four games and Gasol 7.5. Randolph has collected 14 of his 32 total rebounds on the offensive end.

But Del Negro mentioned how guards Mike Conley and Tony Allen and small forward Tayshaun Prince have hurt the Clippers in the rebounding department.

Conley is averaging 3.5 rebounds in the first four games, Allen 6.0 rebounds and Prince 4.3.

"Our guards have to do a good job there in getting long rebounds like in Game 1 and part of Game 2," Del Negro said.

All Clippers ready

Del Negro said before the game that "everybody is on deck to play" in Game 5 against Memphis.

He wouldn't guarantee Willie Green or Grant Hill would see playing time, but he wasn't ruling anything out.

Green has played in two games, but it has been limited minutes when the game was basically over.

Hill hasn't played in any of the first four games but is healthy and able to play if called upon.

Green started 60 games during the regular season when Chauncey Billups was out with injuries.

Del Negro said he'll also use backup big men Lamar Odom, Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins if necessary.

"I have no hesitation to put Willie in there, or Grant," Del Negro said. "I'll put in any of our bigs obviously. We'll go with the guys that have been starting. But if there is any lack of production there, then I have confidence in the other guys."

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