Insider offers a breakdown of every playoff series using an expert combination of scouting from Amin Elhassan and advanced metrics from Bradford Doolittle to answer three crucial questions. Also included are predictions from the writers and the classic Log5 formula for determining matchup probabilities.
There will be no shortage of storylines in this rematch of last season's first-round battle in which the Los Angeles Clippers outlasted the Memphis Grizzlies in seven games. However, both teams are significantly different than last season's squads.
The Grizzlies shuffled their roster midseason by dealing franchise stalwart Rudy Gay, an oft-criticized move at the time that paid huge dividends down the stretch. Only the Heat and Nuggets had better records after the All-Star break than the Grizzlies, as Memphis won six more games than any other season in franchise history.
The Clippers were the league's darlings before the calendar flipped to 2013. And though the second half wasn't as sparkling, Los Angeles still enjoyed the first 50-win season in the history of the franchise. In terms of quality of combatants and contrast of styles, this is the opening round's most compelling matchup.
Memphis Grizzlies (5) at Los Angeles Clippers (4)
Western Conference playoffs