GAME 2 FEATURED MATCHUP: BLAKE GRIFFIN VS. ZACH RANDOLPH

Clippers vs. Grizzlies
Blake Griffin vs. Zach Randolph

Arm bars, take downs, bumps, bruises, 11 fouls and countless box outs.

So it goes in the matchup between Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph. Game 1 was precisely what the two power forwards expected after engaging in a battle of physical will over the last four regular season games and a seven-game series in round one last year.

Even before it started, Griffin said, “That’s his whole M.O. is to frustrate guys and do his thing under the basket and play a physical game. I know it’s coming and just have to deal with it.

“I like playing physical, too. So we’ll see.”

Griffin and Randolph were saddled with foul trouble for much of Saturday’s series opener, both playing fewer than 26 minutes and Griffin fouling out with 3:32 left. They were whistled for a double-foul in the fourth quarter with their arms interlocked as they fought for a rebound. It was tame compared a mutual foul called in the last meeting of a regular season, when Randolph powered through Griffin along the baseline in what appeared to be a tackle and Griffin pulled him down.

“They got the double-foul there,” Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. “It’s going to be a physical series that way. It was last year. It was in all the regular season games. And obviously, the playoffs with the energy in the building and with what’s at stake it’s going to be like that.”

After Game 1, Griffin was asked again about the physicality required playing against a big bodied bruiser like the one-time Clipper Randolph.

“I’m ready for whatever,” Griffin responded. “However many games it’s going to take, I’m ready.”

He paused momentarily before continuing. “If that’s the way they want to play. That’s the way he wants to play, let’s do it.”

BLAKE GRIFFIN

Griffin scored 10 points on 3-for-9 shooting in Game 1. He played just 25:27 and grabbed five boards with three assists and two blocks. The stat line does not standout, but after the game Del Negro lauded Griffin’s effort and repeated the praise after practice Sunday.

“I think Blake battled all night,” Del Negro said.

Despite his struggles from the floor in Game 1, Griffin has had a measure of success against Randolph this season. In the four regular-season meetings, he shot 51.4% (19-for-37) with Randolph on the floor, including going 15-for-22 in the restricted area.

After practice Griffin, who has been nagged by a sore back, said part of the game plan against Randolph was to get in the middle of the floor and create shots for others. “Our mindset was to get in the middle and create open shots. And we did get open shots.”

“In the first half, especially, you don’t want to start forcing things,” Griffin added. “I can’t hurt us by being more aggressive.”

ZACH RANDOLPH

Randolph is distinct in that his game is powerful, but entirely different than Griffin’s. He’s less about athleticism than he is about leverage and rebounding instinct.

“I think [Randolph] is very difficult with his duck-ins,” Del Negro added. “He’s very skilled. He has great hands. He gets a lot of offensive rebounds. But we were able to control that last night.”

Randolph led the NBA in offensive rebounds per game (4.1) but did not manage one in Game 1. Afterwards he said losing Game 1 was “no big deal” as long as the Grizzlies found a way to steal Game 2 in L.A. Randolph would theoretically have to be a major part of that after going 6-for-10 from the field with 13 points, four rebounds and one assist Saturday.

On the season Randolph was a 46.0% shooter, but shot just 33.7% from outside of nine feet.

Griffin vs. Randolph 2012-13 Statistical Comparison
*Player Efficiency Rating – Overall rating of a player’s per-minute statistical production. League average is 15.00 every season.

 

PPG

ORPG

DRPG

TRPG

APG

FG%

FT%

PER*

Blake Griffin

18.0

2.3

6.0

8.3

3.7

53.8%

66.0%

22.44

Zach Randolph

15.4

4.1

7.2

11.2

1.4

46.0%

75.0%

17.92