GAME 5 SHOOT-AROUND REPORT: FOUL TROUBLE

PLAYA VISTA – Foul trouble.

Through four games of their first-round series with the Memphis Grizzlies, the Clippers have been whistled for 111 fouls, a playoff-high 27.8 per game. That’s 2.3 more than No. 2 Atlanta and 4.8 per game more than Memphis.

By comparison, the Grizzlies have been called for 92 fouls in the series, leading to 23.3 Clippers free throw attempts per game.

Playing physical in a series that demands it has been a point of conversation, but, according to center DeAndre Jordan, who has 13 fouls in four games, the Clippers have to be physical while avoiding whistles.

“Tonight we have to guard without fouling and be as physical as we can,” he said at shoot-around before Tuesday’s Game 5.

“In Memphis, they were in the penalty like eight or nine minutes into each quarter, so it was kind of tough for us to play aggressive defense,” Jordan added. “We didn’t want to foul. Guys didn’t want to send people to the line. It wasn’t as aggressive as we usually are.”

Getting to the line has allowed Memphis to further dictate the pace of the game, something the Clippers have been trying to open up throughout the series. In the last 18 matchups with the Grizzlies, the Clippers are 9-1 when they top 90 points (2-6 in the other games). They have been bogged down in the 80s in Games 3 and 4, when the Grizzlies attempted 67 free throws.

The foul line has been a major source of offense for the Grizzlies. In four games, they have earned a league-high 24.5% of their points on free throws. The league playoff average is 18.3% of team offense production.

Memphis did not rely on that kind of production in the regular season. They were 16th in the NBA in foul shots per game (the Clippers were ninth) and scored 17.6% of their points from the line. But in the playoffs, when it’s supposed to be more physical, it has changed.

Eric Bledsoe said the Clippers have to respond accordingly.

“It’s going to be a physical game just like it’s been all series,” Bledsoe said. We can’t just sit down there and let them push us around.

“When we do get in that position we just need to try to make adjustments [to how the game is being called].”

 

FOULS (PER GAME)

FT-FTA (%)

% OF TEAM PTS (REG. SEASON)

REG. SEASON FOULS PER GM

Grizzlies

92 (23.0)

93-126 (.738)

24.5% (17.6%)

20.2

Clippers

111 (27.8)

76-93 (.817)

20.5% (16.1%)

20.9

Other 14 Teams (Playoff Avg)

90 (21.8)

71-98 (.724)

18.3%

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