Los Angeles Clippers Should Expect Hostile Environment in Memphis

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers will take on the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum tonight, coming off of a disappointing 104-101 loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday afternoon at the Staples Center. It was a loss that also snapped the Clippers 13 game home winning streak, but now is the time to forget about it.

The Clippers should be expecting a playoff atmosphere at the FedEx Forum tonight. The Clippers won a physical first round playoff series last year over Memphis, which went the distance of seven games and ended on the Grizzlies home floor. It’s safe to say that the series is still fresh in the minds of Grizzlies fans, not to mention the famous game two collapse. (Actually, how can I not mention that collapse?) The Clippers came back from an enormous 27 point deficit, in the fourth quarter, at the FedEx Forum, and won the game to tie the series up at one game apiece.

The two teams met in the first game of this season at the Staples Center on Halloween night, where there was no love lost between them. It was a heated battle as expected, especially between Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph, who had to be separated more than once. It was clear that these two teams have a little rivalry brewing.

Tonight’s game will be the first time that the Clippers have visited the FedEx Forum since winning game seven of last year’s playoff series. The fans will have Memphis fired up from the start and emotions will be running high on both sides. The Clippers should expect this to be a hostile environment and getting off to a quick start will be the key for Los Angeles. If they can take the crowd out of this game early on it will give them a chance to swing the momentum their way.

This matchup also features two of the top five teams in the western conference so far this season. The Clippers are currently second in the conference standings with a 28-9 record, while the Grizzlies are currently fourth in the standings with a 24-11 record. It’s still too early to be talking about conference playoff seeds, but any game against a conference opponent is a big one.

So expect these two teams to feed off of the crowd tonight, which will not only add something extra to this regular season game, but it will also add to this looming rivalry.

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