An unheralded yet potent bunch of reserves is why the Grizzlies were tabbed by several national pundits as a dangerous opponent entering the playoffs.

Memphis' roster is credibly deep, making it a team to avoid.

But O.J. Mayo, the Grizzlies' super sub, isn't about one-sided recognition. Instead of having a commanding first-round series lead, the Griz are tied 1-1 with the Los Angeles Clippers heading into Game 3 this afternoon.

Mayo says blame the bench.

The Griz wouldn't be looking to reclaim the home-court advantage if their reserves had protected a 27-point lead in that Game 1 loss with the passion and effectiveness they displayed in a Game 2 win.

If these Grizzlies' backups flunked the initial test, it sounds as if Mayo intends to ace every makeup exam from this point on.

"We told the team we'd take the blame because we were supposed to help close that game out," Mayo said. "As competitors coming off the bench we understood that and brought it (in Game 2). We've got some great players on our bench. We're going to do our part."

Both squads have predicted a long series and the Grizzlies' hale and hearty depth should give them the advantage. While the Clippers are dealing with a sudden rash of injuries, the Griz are bullish because of their bench power.