Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/1/13
Despite taking an early two-game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies in their Western Conference quarterfinal matchup, the Los Angeles Clippers have fallen into a rut that has nearly cost them their playoff lives. While Chris Paul and company are still quite capable of playing on into the second round, the NBA odds are against them. Thanks to the sheer depth of their Memphis counterparts, the Clippers have had no choice but to look on helplessly as they were first equaled and ultimately passed in the series. It’s time to hit the panic button now that L.A. big man Blake Griffin has a sprained ankle to nurse, as well. Now a single loss away from elimination, the Clips are in an intriguing position. The roster, once considered capable of pushing itself out on a deep postseason run, could be golfing by the end of the week. Alternatively, a Game 6 L.A. victory would put both teams back in front of the Staples Center crowd — something the Clippers would look desperately to capitalize on this time. Until the Game 5 Memphis win, each team had taken care of business on their respective home courts. If, as the adage goes, a given series doesn’t begin until the first team wins on the road, then get ready for the action. While the Grizzlies have improved their forecast on the NBA futures to the point where they’re now being touted with 18/1 odds of winning it all, the Clippers have slipped to 33/1. That’s just an indicator of where Vegas stands on the game in light of the first five chapters. Don’t let the 2013 results, however, make you forget how the similar pairing went down in the 2012 postseason. After taking an early series lead, the Clippers eventually coughed themselves into a 2-3 hole. They went on to win both Games 6 and 7, proceeding to the Western Conference semifinals. Expect Paul to shoulder much of the load for L.A. this week. The veteran guard is seemingly more and more willing to take on the offensive load without partner Griffin at full health. Whether or not he’ll be enough to trump the Memphis pairing of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, however, remains to be seen. While some of the NBA’s first-round matchups have either come or are coming to an end already, that only clears the schedule so that more people can focus on the ones going down to the wire. This is what we’ve been waiting for.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Rex Ryan: IK Enempkali could fill void left by Mario Williams

Report: Indians have best deal on table for Chapman

White Sox GM: Chris Sale has not requested trade

Nebraska’s Foltz, ex-MSU punter Sadler killed in car accident

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Michael Bennett to Seahawks: Pay me or 'get rid of me'

Victor Cruz expects to be 'ready to go' for training camp

DeMarcus Cousins: All-NBA vote ‘absurd’ and ‘a joke’

Andrew Luck: Colts were 'gutsy' to keep Pagano, Grigson

Report: Lesnar, Jones tested positive for same substance

Todd Bowles: Geno Smith 'can be a good starter' for Jets

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

10 NFL players set to become household names in 2016

Lou Holtz regrets making immigration 'joke' at RNC

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker