GAME 5 FEATURED MATCHUP: CARON BUTLER VS TAYSHAUN PRINCE

In the first two games of the opening round series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, Caron Butler played a critical role in helping the Clippers hold serve at home. When the series switched venues, small forward Tayshaun Prince helped his Grizzlies do the same. The winner of their match up in Tuesday’s Game 5 could prove a factor in determining which team comes out of that game one win away from advancing.


CARON BUTLER

The 11-year veteran could not get anything going in Game 4 as he went scoreless for the only the second time in 45 career playoff games.  

It was a stark contrast to the opening game of the series for Butler as he could do no wrong in Game 1. He scored 13 points on an efficient 6-for-9 shooting and was one of the team’s leading rebounders as he grabbed seven boards to help the Clippers score a dominant 47-23 edge on the glass en route to a blowout victory. He was a +21 in 24 minutes of action.

Butler was averaging 10.6 points a game in the series prior to his scoreless outing on Saturday afternoon. He’s also failed to make the same impact on the boards he did in the first game, grabbing just four rebounds combined in the last three games.

During the regular season, Butler played in three of the four match ups between the teams, all of them Clippers victories. He scored 10 points in the season opener at Staples Center and then went 3-for-4 from 3-point land in the Clippers 99-73 win at Memphis.

But in his only regular season tilt against the Grizzlies with Prince in the lineup, Butler went scoreless in just nine minutes of action before leaving the game with a sore right knee. It was a huge contrast compared to the first match up between the two forwards back in December when Prince was still a member of the Pistons.

Butler scored 11 points in an 88-76 win by the Clippers in Detroit back on Dec. 17, which was win No. 10 of their franchise record 17-game winning streak.

TAYSHAUN PRINCE

Prince scored 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting in Game 4 to help the Grizzlies tie the series. He grabbed six rebounds to help Memphis win the battle on the boards, 45-28.

Prince said helping out with rebounding is tough because he is constantly trying to box out the Clippers’ better rebounders.

“A lot of times I can’t get them because I’m trying to box out [DeAndre] Jordan, [Blake] Griffin, Matt Barnes and those guys just crashing,” he said. “A lot of times, for instance, last [game] I didn’t get any defensive rebounds because I was so concentrated on if those guys on the perimeter are taking shots.”

Prince’s shooting performance, though, snapped him out of a funk after he scored a combined 10 points in the first three games of the series including a 2-for-10 outing in Game 2. He was shooting 4-for-18 for the series through three games before shooting 58.3% in Game 4.

During the regular season, Prince split time between the Grizzlies and Pistons. In 45 games with the Pistons he averaged 11.7 points per game and was shooting 43.4% from beyond the arc. He faced Butler and the Clippers once while in Detroit, scoring 15 points and grabbing seven boards in a loss.

Prince’s numbers faded a bit when he was traded to Memphis midseason as he averaged 8.8 points a game as his percentages from distance dropped to 36.6%. But he saved his best game as a member of the Grizzlies for the Clippers. He scored 18 points on 9-for-15 shooting in Memphis’ only regular season win against the Clippers. In three regular season games against Los Angeles, Prince averaged 15.3 points a game.

Butler vs. Prince 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

RPG

APG

SPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

*PER

Caron Butler

10.4

2.9

1.0

0.7

.424

.388

.833

12.50

Tayshaun Prince

10.4

4.4

2.4

0.6

.438

.404

.738

11.53