Nightly Grades: Pacers demolish another victim

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

TeamGradeAnalysis
D-

I'm lowering expectations for this team. They hung with the best team in basketball for a while, but they still can't shoot, and the Pacers can this year. They don't get an F because F's are for if you should be able to do better and you don't.

I'm not sure this team can right now.

A+

Another night, another backside-kicking. They just hit you from so many sides, now, in waves. It's like a cavalry, running down hill and trampling you underfoot. You have no tactical advantage, you're just swinging wildly in the mud, and the best strategy might be to play dead.

They are an absolute onlsaught right now.

A+Playing great defense, getting out in transition, cleaning up the glass, attacking with confidence, this team looks legitimately good right now. I was wrong about the Celtics.
F- Showed no fight when things got tough and tend to go away from what they will do. They're not catching anyone off guard anymore.
A-

Tonight was your generic brand Spurs domination. It's just what they do.

F+

Didn't have it. Young teams are inconsistent, and when this team falls apart, it falls apart completely. Hard to knock them for losing to the Spurs, but San Antonio was on a back to back.

D

This was a game they should lose, and they did. They hung in there in the second half for a while. But eventually, the truth is going to be simply that until Kyrie Irving finds himself, they're not going to win enough.

Something extra from Anderson Varejao (five points, six rebounds) would be nice, too.

B+

Derrick Rose injured, but it looks minor. Meanwhile a very healthy 105.5 offensive efficiency does wonders for their confidence and Mike Dunleavy got his shot to fall. Maybe the Jazz win was just what they needed.

A-

Finally took care of business vs. a team they should beat

D-

Oh, that's right, they're the Bobcats.

A-

The offensive execution is so sharp, they're going to be monsters at home. Such great ball movement and smart lineup management by Terry Stotts Monday.

Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are finding ways to get their teammates involved when the defenses try to compensate for the two of them working together, and it's beauiful.

D+

Pretty good effort. They hung in this one and gave them a run. Need a little bit better defense and they need to get back to the passing they showed in the first couple of games. You know... before Brandon Jennings got back.

C-

Not a great win. Nearly blew it three times, had to battle back at home against a pretty horrible offensive unit. Just laziness and discombobulated messes. This win didn't make you feel better about the Rockets, just their record.

D

They actually played pretty well overall but this nonsense about just giving the ball to Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan and watching them launch mid-range jumpers has gots to go. Rudy hit one to force double-OT, he also mailed one in off the glass, no rim trying to force overtime and was saved by Amir Johnson.

There's some good stuff going with this team, but they have to get out of their own way.

F-

B

They needed a win and after screwing around for a while, took care of business against the league's worst. The question will be whether the answers they found against the Jazz will work against anyone else.

C-

Great game, for both teams. The Wolves, short-handed on a back to back forced a single-possession game to the end against the Clips on the road. That's a really solid loss, and the Wolves have to feel good about their ability to win night in and night out. Now, about that bench...

B+

Got a win against a really good team, but you would like the defense to lock down at some point. Still, having Jamal Crawford to turn to when you need saving has to make you feel pretty good about where you're at.

 
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