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Nightly Grades 1.16.13: Where has this Heat been?

By Matt Moore | NBA writer



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 HeatWhere the hell has this been? The Heat, who have looked shaky defensively and lost at times, absolutely blew out the Warriors on the road on Wednesday night. LeBron James (who also crossed the 20,000-points and 5,000-assists marks, was sublime, and the Heat trapped, fronted and blitzed the Warriors into being totally out of whack. It was dominant at both ends. More of this, Miami. That's your standard.
Atlanta HawksBlow out one of the hottest teams in the league without Josh Smith. Awkward. The Hawks jumped all over the Nets and kept at them. Jeff Teague, Al Horford, the shooters, Lou Williams, the whole gang piled on. It was the kind of victory that they needed to try to erase their performance from Monday from their minds. (But not from mine; it's embedded on my brain forever.)
Dallas Mavericks Played much better defense than they had in months and fended off a late run by Houston. It wasn't perfect, but it was another victory for a team that can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel.

San Antonio

They're graded against themselves because they're so consistently good, and they were great in the second half against a tough Memphis team. They just worked them over and dismantled the Grizzlies. It's looking more and more like it's going to be Thunder-Spurs in the Western Conference finals again, because the Spurs have added the defense they needed.
Boston CelticsWorked over by a young, undisciplined Hornets team without Eric Gordon. Boston just fell apart after the first quarter and went away from everything that had been working the past few games. Their same issues with rim protection popped up again. The shine isn't over for Boston, but it was a warning sign that things aren't totally fixed for the guys in green.
Indiana PacersClocked by Orlando. Indiana needs to win these types of games. Instead, the Pacers never showed up.
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