Tag:Report Card
Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:43 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 9:11 am

Report Card 2.15.12: Devastating fun

LeBron James produced a lot of points in not a lot of minutes vs. the Pacers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Miami Heat You were expecting Linsanity, weren't you? A buzzer-beater over the Raptors with 8 turnovers won't get you an A around these parts. But absolutely demolishing the Pacers, being up 20 in the second quarter on? Yeah, that'll do. The Heat were in full-on Flying Death Machine mode Tuesday night. They just ran the Pacers out of the building and out into the night, never to be heard from again. LeBron James 23-9-7 in 33 minutes in the win.
Jeremy Lin I want to give Lin an A as much as you probably want me to. But eight turnovers are eight turnovers, and 9-20 shooting is 9-20 shooting. It's not bad. It's just not great, and that, with the turnovers and the struggle with splitting the double renders us unable to give him a top grade. Something tells me he'll take it. But seriously. What a shot.
Memphis Grizzlies The Rockets were exhausted on a road game at the end of a long stretch of games, Kevin Martin was scoreless for the first time in a long, long time, and yet this was a five-point game under five minutes. The Grizzlies did enough to win, and they get the credit that goes with it. But they don't get much more than a passing grade
Phoenix Suns The Suns were chewed up by the Nuggets inside, torched from the perimeter and ran ragged. They're wholly unprepared at the worst times this season and it doesn't seem like there's much of a chance they recover this season. Steve Nash deserves better.
Portland Trail Blazers A home loss to the Wizards. I need no further justification for this grade, regardless of the health of LaMarcus Aldridge who left the game with an ankle injury.

LeBron James (23 points on 15 shots, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals in 33 minutes. Destroyed Indiana and got to rest.)
Jeremy Lin (27 points on 20 shots, 11 assists, 8 turnovers, one huge shot)
Jose Calderon (25 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, brilliant for 45 minutes)
DeMarcus Cousins (28 points on 20 shots and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Bulls)
Posted on: February 14, 2012 12:00 am

Report Card: LeBron gets ridiculous in Milwaukee

Posted by Royce Young

 LeBron had the kind of night where you mention him with Ewing, Barkley and Duncan. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

LeBron James
In 31 minutes, LeBron basically demolished the Milwaukee Bucks. That's what they get for beating the Heat twice this season, I guess. LeBron went for 35 points on 16-21 shooting with eight rebounds just for fun. As pointed out on Twitter, the only players to do that the last 20 years are Tim Duncan, Alonzo Mourning, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing.
Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks continue to steadily climb the hill as they picked up a very nice win over the Clippers Monday. Dirk scored 22 but on 5-15 shooting. He did close the game especially well, which he tends to do. The Mavs though got a bit of everything from a lot of different parties -- Shawn Marion had 16, Vince Carter 10, Delonte West 10, Brendan Haywood 10. Not that anyone ever wrote the Mavs off, but now they're actually getting our attention again.
Chris Kaman
The big guy started for New Orleans and did his job putting up 27 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Utah. He was deactivated as the Hornets shopped him around so this does two things: Helps the Hornets win because a good player played well and increases his trade value. The Hornets probably prefer losses to help the lottery ball odds, but Kaman playing well is a very good thing for New Orleans.
Kenyon Martin Martin played his best game with his new team scoring 10 points in 26 minutes while adding four blocks. He's absolutely everything the Clippers need off the bench. He's a big, physical body and if he's in good shape, he'll probably be a 25-30 minute fixture in that rotation. 
Dwight Howard The Magic picked up a nice win over the Wolves, but it certainly wasn't because of Howard. He was in constant foul trouble which limited him to only 11 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. And as for being a closer: He scored three points in the fourth on three shots. 
Charlotte Bobcats The Bobcats put up a fight against the 76ers, but as you might've assumed, lost. Why do you assume? Because that makes 15 in a row Charlotte has lost. 
Utah Jazz
Maybe the Jazz are coming back down to Earth. Another loss, with this one coming to the dreadful Hornets. Granted, it was the second night of a back-to-back and they won in Memphis the night before, but that's five of seven in the loss column for Utah, with this one being against a terrible team. You can't do that when you're trying to compete for a playoff spot in the West. 
Posted on: February 12, 2012 6:24 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 11:27 pm

Report Card: Celtics survive Rose-less Bulls

Posted by Royce Young

 Rondo put together maybe the finest lines of the season when his team needed it most. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Rajon Rondo
Rondo's line: 32 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds. That, boys and girls, is quite the triple-double. When the Celtics needed something from someone the most, Rondo was there. He played his best game of the season, albeit against C.J. Watson and not against Derrick Rose. Still, he stepped up big time for Boston and carried his limping team to a win.
Kobe Bryant
Kobe isn't always as clutch as some like to pretend he is, but he still can hit that shot that breaks your back. With the Lakers looking at an ugly loss in Toronto, Kobe drilled an impossible baseline jumper to put L.A. up one, which they held on to for a tougher-than-expected win over the scrappy Raptors. 27 points on 23 shots is probably more "B" worthy and the Lakers won this game because of Pau Gasol but who cares, game-winner!
Boston Celtics
The Celtics need wins any way they can get them. And if that means beating the Bulls without Derrick Rose, so be it. It's still a win over the East's best team (record wise), which counts for something. Boston had dropped two straight including a bad one to the Raptors. The Celtics tried to blow a 14-point lead late in the fourth but held on to put away a nice win. So they didn't have to beat Rose. Boston's taking them any way it can get them. Besides, the Bulls have played pretty well without Rose and the rest of that roster isn't trash.
Chicago Bulls Down three with a minute left, you know Tom Thibodeau had to be looking at Derrick Rose thinking, "Hmm, maybe I could squeeze just a minute..." Even without their MVP, the Bulls battled back from 14 down and had a real chance to completely devastate the Celtics. They came up short, but it was definitely a noble effort. And finished 6-3 on a nine-game road trip.
Boston's "Big 3"
Good thing Rondo did the heavy lifting, because the Celtics' Big Three certainly did not. Kevin Garnett's help defense was terrific, but in terms of the box score, Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce combined for just 33 points on 12-27 shooting. Again, Rondo had 32 by himself.
C.J. Watson Filling the shoes of Derrick Rose is like stepping into a couple size 50s. C.J. Watson has done serviceable work, but he was very average against Boston. He gave up a triple-double to Rondo and while he had 23 points, he needed 23 shots to get it and took a miserable, contested deep 2-pointer with 22 seconds left and the Bulls down three.
Chicago's bench
Most like to call the Bulls' bench mob the best in the league, but they were completely worthless Sunday. A total of 16 points on 6-23 shooting from the Chicago reserves. John Lucas III actually was their top scorer off the pine with eight. That's not going to get it done when you don't have Rose. 
Scott Foster
The same official that blew the goaltending call in the Portland-Oklahoma City game appears to have gaffed again with a crucial late call in the Toronto-Lakers contest. The Raptors had possession with four seconds left down 93-92, taking the ball out at midcourt. With Dwane Casey trying to call a timeout from the bench, Foster called the Raps for a five second call after failing to get the ball in. Problem is, besides missing the timeout from Casey, is Foster appeared to blow the whistle at four seconds. (Update: The NBA says Foster got the call right with the official time being 5.8 seconds. He still didn't award Casey a timeout though.)

Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:39 am
Edited on: February 10, 2012 1:48 am

Report Card: Bynum and Gasol dominate Boston

Posted by Royce Young

 Bynum is an All-Star and Gasol got snubbed, but played like one anyway against the Celtics. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Bynum and Gasol
The Lakers needed something from their terrific interior duo and they got it, as Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol combined for 41 points and 31 rebounds. They gave the Lakers just enough inside and on the glass to overcome a rough night and beat the Celtics. Plus, Gasol had the game-winning block of a Boston layup.
Houston bench
 The Rockets bench combined for 57 points and here were their plus/minus numbers in a win over the Suns: +18, +27, +25, +17. +22.
Sacramento Kings
The Kings deserve a whole lot of credit for beating the Thunder in their only national television appearance. They closed the game on a 19-6 run, "forced" 23 turnovers and have now won four of five and are a two-point loss to the Wolves away from winning five straight. Still, it wasn't a clean performance and you could tell the Kings weren't entirely sure where to go for points late but caught OKC in a couple bad rotations as Marcus Thornton hit two big 3s. The team still has work to do.
The Lakers-Celtics game in general A close overtime game, featuring the biggest rivalry in the NBA, but it was mostly ugly for about 47 minutes. There were some big shots and some big plays, but both teams shot under 40 percent and both teams looked old and out of sync at times.
Houston starters
The Rockets starting five combined for 39 points and here were their plus/minus numbers: -15, -13, -16, -16, -14.
Denver Nuggets The Nuggets have dropped six of seven after working themselves into the conversation of the best in the West. The Warriors did the work, behind 36 from Stephen Curry who had 36, but the Nuggets aren't looking like the elite team we all thought they were going to be. It could be just a bump in the road, as they're without some key players, but it could mean something more as well.
Thunder ball security
Oklahoma City blew a chance to lock up Scott Brooks' coaching the Western All-Stars with a 106-101 loss to the Kings. But what killed the Thunder most was 23 turnovers and 17 Sacramento rebounds. That added up to 22 more shots for the Kings and a loss for OKC.

Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:42 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 1:58 am

Report Card 2.9.12: Linsanity strikes again

Jeremy Lin led the Knicks to their third straight win in his second start. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Complete Linsanity He did it. Again. In NBA history, there have been four players to post 20+points and 8+ assists in their first two career starts. Jeremy Lin became the fifth Wednesday night, with 23 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, just two turnovers and 9-14 shooting. Once again an opponent opted to go over the screen, to dare him to drive and/or pass off the pick and roll, and once again Lin destroyed a team. The dream continues. An amazing ride. Also, this happened, which is Landry Fields and Lin's new handshake, in which they open a book flip through it, put on glasses, and then slip on pocket protectors:

Orlando Magic Orlando did not stomp the Heat. But they did throw them up against the lockers, shook their lunch money out, and bloodied their clothes a bit. The Magic essentially had a two step process. Challenge the Heat at mid-range in face-up and passinsg situations defensively, and hit a metric ton of threes. It's nothing we haven't seen from Orlando before, just against a very good team. The occasional lapse to let the Heat back in it, even as good as Miami is, keeps them from an A, but a very solid performance for Orlando and a huge win.
Memphis Grizzlies The Grizzlies beat the Wolves by just five (though it was really a seven-point lead before a needless foul and so-what three), when they were without Kevin Love. Scoring just 85 points isn't going to get it done. Memphis passes with a win over a quality team with or without Love, but fails to show anything that suggest they have resolved their myriad problems.
Los Angeles Clippers The Cavaliers were without their best player in Kyrie Irving and still ran the Clippers out throughout the game. Not the comforting start to the post-Billups era you would hope for, particularly letting Ramon Sessions have his way to the tune of 24 and 13.
New Orleans Hornets What do you want to go with, here? Scoring just 67 points? 14 points in the first period, causing an awkard situation when the crowd didn't get to sit down for five-plus minutes to start the game waiting for the first bucket? Such a wide range of sad failure for the Hornets. Anthony Davis, Hornets fans. Anthony Davis.

Jeremy Lin (23 points, 10 assists, Linsanity)
Tony Parker (37 points and 8 assists, validating All-Star reserve status if selected)
Dwight Howard (25 points and 24 boards in win over Heat)
Posted on: February 7, 2012 11:25 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 11:32 pm

Report Card: Pacers survive, Pierce passes Bird

Paul Pierce took over No.2 on the Celtics' all-time scoring list and the Celtics improved to 14-10. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was. We want to hear your grades of the night on Twitter at @EyeOnBasketball.

Paul Pierce On a night where Pierce passed Larry Bird on the Celtics' all-time scoring list, the Truth was doing everything for the surging Celtics. His shooting percentage was nothing great, but 8 rebounds and 9 assists with just two turnovers to go with 15 points is excellent work. Pierce took a step up the Green's list of point producers, but it's his overall play that makes him a Celtic legend. Tuesday night showed why.
Indiana Pacers Played like warrior gods for about 34 minutes. Then utterly collapsed against the power of Paul Millsap while Frank Vogel hung out his second unit to dry. Then managed to slam the door shut thanks to what got them the lead in the first place. When the Pacers are clicking, they can be dominant, but this team is built with too many hustle defenders on the bench and not enough scoring. George Hill's absence hurts, but it goes beyond that. They might consider getting a backup scorer at the deadline. At the same time, a quality win against a good team.
Minnesota Timberwolves The Kings are more game to fight under Keith Smart, but this still should have been a more comfortable win at home. Then again, they didn't have Kevin Love. So basically, they pass, but next time maybe a little better shooting than 41 percent against a horrid defense is in order. 14 assists for Rubio in the win.
Kings final possession All you have are perimeter scorers. All you have are ISO guys. You don't pass well. I'm one of the guys who rails against the ISO-Final-Possession culture in the NBA, but in that situation, down two, give the ball to Thornton or Evans and let them do work out of Isolation. Instead the Kings tried to get inventive and cute. Not a good look. Honestly, DeMarcus Cousins should not be on the floor at the end of the game for the Kings right now. 22 for Thornton in the loss.
Tyrus Thomas 20 minutes. 1-6, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 1 foul, -12 for the game and got into it with Paul Pierce on the night he passed Bird on the Celtics' scoring list. Remember when he was going to be a difference maker?
LeBron James (24 points on 16 shots, 5 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals, excellent passing to close out the Cavs.)
Derrick Brown (10-10 from the field, 20 points, 4 rebounds)
Darren Collison (10-14 from the field, 25 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 turnovers)

Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:36 pm

Report Card: Jeremy Lin carries the Knicks

Posted by Royce Young

It's Linsanity in New York right now. (Getty Images)

It was a milestone kind of night in the NBA as the story was Kobe Bryant passing Shaquille O'Neal on the all-time scoring list, but a couple upsets, a couple overtime games and some big matchups were all part of a wild Monday night.

The New York Jeremy Lin's.

No Amar'e Stoudemire. No Carmelo Anthony, who went out with groin injury early in the first quarter. No problem for the Knicks against one of the West's good teams, the Utah Jazz. Behind a new career-high from Jeremy Lin who had 28 points and eight assists, also new career-high (but also eight turnovers, all in the second half), the Knicks were able to pull out an improbable win over a solid team. Jared Jeffries took five charges (!), Steve Novak randomly had 19 points and the Knicks got just enough from all over to win. This is maybe the type of game you can build on a bit. Backs against the wall and the role guys step up. Great win for the Knicks.

Philadelphia 76ers

Over the last seven days, the 76ers have taken down the Lakers Magic, Bulls and Hawks. I had them as a contender and the Sixers did a good job of making that call look pretty good. Lou Williams was terrific down the stretch against the Lakers Monday and the 76ers put away yet another good win. It's time to wake up about this team. These guys aren't just good. They're LEGIT.

Dwight Howard

Another tremendous game from Howard in a losing effort. It's a shame to see a guy go for 33 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort, but the assertiveness from Howard was certainly nice to see. Howard took 21 shots, including 17 in the first half. Which moght then show you one of the issues the Magic tend to have -- getting the ball to Howard in key situations. It's not that he disappeared, he just wasn't near the offensive factor.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe passed Shaq on the all-time scoring list and did it in a very Kobe way. He needed 24 to pass Shaq and so he got 24 in the first half. The problem: Kobe finished with 28. He had just four points in the second half and shot 10-26 with five turnovers. A great night for Kobe in terms of history, but not a good night in terms of what transpired in his hometown Philly.

Utah Jazz

Yes, the Knicks winning is the story, but don't overlook the fact that the Jazz blew an easy opportunity to put another win on the board. No Stoudemire, no Melo and the Jazz let Novak, Lin and Shumpert beat them. That's not a good look for a team trying to battle for playoff positioning in the West.

New Jersey Nets

The Nets stink. They're bad. The Bulls probably could've beat them by 60 had Derrick Rose not left the game early with back spasms. The game was over very early as Chicago led 35-14 after a quarter and seemed to be ready to increase that every quarter. The final score, 108-87, doesn't really illustrate what a blowout this was.

Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:34 am

Report Card 1.31.12: Grizz major in grind

Memphis storms back to get a big win over Nuggets and stop a losing streak. (Getty Images)

Your nightly report card wraps up the performances of the NBA night and provides grades on a curve. Tuesday night the Knicks found the cure for a night, the Grizzlies GrizzGrinded their way to a comeback, and the Celtics passed... barely. 

By Matt Moore

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies were lost for much of the first half, but got back to the constant effort and continual pressure that makes them a dangerous team. All of a sudden their offense began to click, Rudy Gay started to get it going in steals, threes, and dunks, and O.J. Mayo began making plays as well as scoring. Throw in some tremendous defense by Tony Allen, and the Grizzlies steal a key game from Denver to get back on track. The Nuggets kept hammering them with offense, and the Grizzlies needed every single second in this one to get th win. Memphis pulls up out of its tailspin of late.

New York Knicks

(by Ken Berger, CBSSports.com)

I grade them on a curve because they're playing, you know, the Pistons. But the time off (in addition to lack of defense) did wonders for Melo. The Knicks moved the ball better than they have in a while and got good (mostly uncontested) shots as a result.

Boston Celtics

They won. And outside of very few exceptions, if you win, you get a C- or better. So The Celtics get a C-, no better. They won, against a tough, gritty, feisty, whatever cliche term you want to use Cavs team. But the fourth quarter collapse was in effect again. Kyrie Irving gets two more shots that were awful close to drop and the Celtics are staring at their second meltdown against the Cavs in three days. Their offense gets out of control, their defense is the bigger concern. They continually have issues with defending inside in the last minutes of a game against pressure. They got the win. But there are problems still in Boston.

Danilo Gallinari

You've got to wonder if Gallo is injured. He simply did not have any part of his game working. Dribble, shooting, defense, rebounding, anything. If Gallinari plays any better the Nuggets likely win this game comfortably. Also wound up forcing other players to contribute more minutes, adding to exaustion with a tough schedule coming up.

Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons, good for what ails you. Even the Knicks.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com