• My Scores
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • NCAA BB
  • NCAA FB

Nightly Grades: Thunder survive first without Westbrook

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.

TeamGradeAnalysis
A

See, and sometimes this team looks really good! Tobias Harris looked really good, they got even production from several players. They had five players in double figures, limited the Piston's frontcourt from getting going, and basically dominated from start to finish.

More stuff like this, Orlando.

D

They had one player, Brandon Jennings, in double-figures. The frontcourt of Josh Smith, Andre Drummond, and Greg Monroe finished with 19 points on 9-of-32 shooting combined. They couldn't stop anyone. It was a totally pathetic loss and one that is emblematic of the random inconsistency this team has maddeningly shown throughout the season.

Really terrible loss.

B

First game without Westbrook, tough opponent, coming off Christmas lag and on the road.

It wasn't horribly impressive, but Kevin Durant certainly was. It's going to be tough going without Westbrook for a while. Passing grades will have to be good enough for a while.

C-

Took everything Kevin Durant could throw at them and still kept fighitng back. Played them tough to the very end. They found an open three for the win, but Josh McRoberts is 2-of-17 from that spot this season.

Still, another quality win.

A-

Hung around and hung around and then just knocked the Melo-less Knicks flat.

Jonas Valanciunas was superb, battling Tyson Chandler, creating offensive rebounds and generally just being a monster. Kyle Lowry had a nice trade showcase game, and they moved the ball well.

Another quality win for the team that wouldn't tank.

D-

This feels mean, because Melo was out. So I won't fail them, especially with Felton and Prigioni also out. But man, they had a double-digit lead in the fourth and watched it evaporate. At home.

Again.

But hey, Mike Woodson's not on the hot seat!

F

Your standard Bucks loss. This one a little worse because they had Larry Sanders back.

They just couldn't keep any cohesion. Brooklyn wasn't even really all that good, the Bucks were just bad.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was fantastic, though. Made a huge impact with pure athleticism.

B-

Hey, it's a win, right?

They didn't look great, but they played well enough to beat the Bucks. I'm sure they'll paint this as a turning point, though. Maybe it was. But it didn't feel like it.

Shaun Livingston continues to be encouraging, however.

A+

Got everything going, and when it rains, it pours with this team. Ricky Rubio was fantastic at orchestrating things, and they kept the pressure on.

The Wolves are starting to come on a bit stronger and looking more like the team we thought they'd be, now that they're not facing contenders every night.

Kevin Love is good.

F

Awful. A total meltdown defensively. They kept going away from weapons that worked and towards weapons that did not.

The Wolves are hard to defend, but you also can't do a much worse job. They just got lost.

D

They got a great game from Wilson Chandler (22 points, 9 rebounds) and still lost easy. The Pelicans just knew how predictable the Nuggets were at both ends and prompted them into bad decisions while attacking their transition defense which was atrocious.

Big let down game from a team that needed a step-up game.

AGreat ball movement, and solid aggression to keep the pressure up. Best, their defense finally came around. They controlled the glass and Tyreke Evans had a really strong "Tyreke Evans "game. Excellent performance.
F-

Some nights you don't have it. Some nights the other team has it all. The Suns ran into both factors Friday.

After being so steady at home and competing regularly, a big step backwards for a young team that just got blitzed offensively by a superior team. This team's still young and learning, it pays to remember.

A

Now that's more like it.

A dominant performance on both sides of the ball, swallowing up any light for Phoenix with their defense and getting into their running game. They didn't even shoot particularly well from deep. Steph Curry 14-15-16 is fun, and they did damage from all over.

The Spurs loss a while back was bad, but this team has bounced back and looks to be on track for a top-four seed in the West.

BThey let it get hairy down the stretch, but they also finished. Really strong performance, and the kind of signature win that they wanted, showing what they're capable of when things go right. Can they duplicate that success going forward?
D-

All hope ended when Swaggy P fouled out of the game.

Think abou that sentence for a minute.

A

Who cares that Miami was so shorthanded? Sacramento needs fun wins like this for the fans. They came from behind against the champs, took them to overtime, and held off LeBron. Just a fun win.

DeMarcus Cousins was everything he's supposed to be Friday and it's incredible to watch him just bully other guys. He's unfathomably strong. Just a beast.

MEHDwyane Wade and Ray Allen did not play. They're in Sacramento. They're on a West Coast road trip. Come on. They tried at times and everything, but I'm just not going to dock them for mailing one in and still forcing overtime.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

nba Video

December 26, 2014
NBA Christmas Viewer's Guide (1:43)
December 22, 2014
Josh Smith waived by the Detroit Pistons
(1:43)
December 19, 2014
Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks
(3:00)
December 19, 2014
What's next for the Sacramento Kings?
(2:58)

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop