Memphis Grizzlies on the Ropes

As the final days of the season wind down, the Los Angeles Clippers were constantly asked if they really wanted to face a Memphis team picked by many to make a deep run in the playoffs.

The Grizzlies shocked the San Antonio Spurs, beating them in six games in a first round match up last year and gave Oklahoma City all they had in the second round before bowing out in Game 7.

Things were supposed to be a bit different with Rudy Gay in action this year around after missing the playoffs last year.

Now the question asked earlier should be flipped around.

Were the Clippers a team the Grizzlies really wanted to go up against in the first round? The Clippers are seen by many as one that could make a deep run in the playoffs.

Has Memphis fully recovered after blowing 27-point, second half lead in Game 1 and falling apart again in Game 3 after leading by seven points in the fourth quarter?

A few days after Grizzlies made history for the wrong reasons in Game 1, Marc Gasol told me that the team had moved past it and mentally were "OK." Last night they stormed back from a 10-point lead with 4 1/2 minutes left to force overtime but came up short in the extra session.

Through four games, there hasn't been an answer on how to contain Chris Paul who has burned Memphis throughout the series with 23.5 points a game. Blake Griffin has been productive averaging 21.5 per game and they've certainly welcomed the production off the bench from an unlikely source - Reggie Evans, who's become a crowd favorite for his hustle on the court, crashing the boards and outmaneuvering Memphis' big men.

Zack Randolph and Marc Gasol had a coming out party last year in the playoffs against the Spurs and the Thunder. Randolph posted up 22.2 points and 10.8 while Gasol added 15 and 11.2 against tougher big men than what he's facing in the Clippers series.

Is it too late to put out an APB on both big men who clearly have been beaten up and down the court?  Randolph and Gasol have not looked like themselves this time around.

Randolph is still recovering from an MCL tear in his knee. He keeps fighting but is certainly not there yet.

The All-Star reserve Gasol has basically disappeared on the offensive end of the floor, attempting five and four shots in the last two games, respectively.

When his team has needed him the most in the fourth quarter Gasol has just attempted one shot in the quarter in three of the last four games.

Only seven teams have bounced back to win a series after trailing 3-1 in the playoffs.

Memphis hosts Game 5 tomorrow night and it's still not too late for the Grizzlies' dynamic duo in the paint to show up, stall Lob City and take the series back to Los Angeles for Game 6 Friday night.

It's been a very exciting series. All of the games have been close but when it's all said and done it's all about the wins and losses.

Can Memphis get 2 more on the right track and return home for Game 7? Mike Conley is coming off a brilliant performance in Game 4 and Gay has been solid throughout while O.J. Mayo should bounce back after not being a factor in the last two games off the bench.

At the end of the day it'll be up to their big men.

Adry Torres, who has covered MLB, NFL, NBA and NCAA basketball games and related events, is a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. He can be reached at or follow him on Twitter: @adrytorresnyc

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