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.
Such a great win. Without Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, the Nets still managed to keep an identity. Pierce and Garnett helped grind Miami on defense, and offensively, Shaun Livingston was fantastic.
Miami was without Dwyane Wade, Shane Battier, and Mario Chalmers, and LeBron James fouled out on a horrible call in double overtime. But the Nets are 2-0 vs. the Heat this season and are back on track to secure a top four seed in the horrible East. This win goes a long way towards their confidence.
With all those injuries, why the low grade? Their defense is still a mess. Miami's coasting, and it's obvious, but this is a team they should have gotten up for, even on the back to back. They went 0-2 vs. the Burroughs and just don't have their flow or killer gear right now.
They need to fix some things.
They gave up 22 points in the first 4:30 of this game, and gave up 63 at halftime. But in a remarkable change from their usual fourth-quarter woes, Detroit ripped off a terrific second half, locking down the Sixers and getting their offense going.
Every turnaround has to start somewhere, and burying a tanking team is as good away to get going as any.
Great start!... And then, you know, Sixers gonna Sixer. But hey, every loss is a win this season.
Down the stretch in a one-point game they had Aaron Brooks do this:
And then they had Jeremy Lin tie the game on a corner three... but his foot was on the line. This team's late-game execution is awful, but it should also be noted that they just struggle in a lot of games they should win. Their consistency is very poor for a team with this talent, Parsons injury or not.
They may not have the talent of a lot of the Western Conference teams, but they are exceptionally well-coached.
They scored 29 points in the second half.
They allowed just 29 points in the second half.
Also, Lance Stephenson is awesome, and they hit Washington with their usual second-half haymaker. Once they land that, it's over. It was.
|F-||They were making up for a lack of talent for a while because they were playing disciplined ball. Now they're without the talent and they've lost their discipline. Embarrassing Bobcats-type loss.|
|A||You know what's a great cure for everyone talking about how you're 0-10 in games decided by four points or less? Beating the ever-loving crap out of a team. They had everything going and now it's all smiles and rainbows again. They need to face more bad teams to make themselves feel better.|
|A-||A higher level of talent and execution made this one easy for the Mavs.|
|F||No Jrue Holiday. No Ryan Anderson.And the rest of their team outside of Anthony Davis can't defend as a unit. They're lost.|
|A+||A tough, gritty win like the fans are used to in Memphis. MIke Conley was a huge, taking advantage of the space provided. They had to get back to their style of basketball but they made it work. They're finding good answers offensively and Ed Davis is finally starting to contribute. The Grizzlies are getting it together just as Marc Gasol comes closer to a return.|
No Eric Bledsoe, but they still hung and had a fourth-quarter lead. They couldn't stay with their pick and roll defense on the edges late in the game, and they surrendered a few too many offensive rebounds. But Goran Dragic did this:
It was a tough loss, but not a bad loss for Phoenix.
|A-||No Deng. So what. A Thibodeau team will always cream teams like Milwaukee because they can't execute at the same level. Tanking is impossible for Chicago.|
You know that feeling when you wake up after you pass out following a rigorous vomit session?
That's MIlwaukee. They're that feeling.
Kyrie Irving took over in the second half, they got good scoring balance off the bench with Dion Waiters. A great way to start the Luol Deng era.
This was the kind of win they needed and a good start. The offense has been such a problem. I loved how they moved C.J. Miles to the starting unit and let Dion Waiters work off the bench.
They were fighting. They were battling. They were in it. Then they got Kyrie'd. Or they saw some Andrew Wiggins/Jabari Parker/ Joel Embiid highlights on the bench and figured out what they needed. And done.
|D-||This team just falls apart without Nikola Vucevic. They need the rim protection and inside presence too much. They simply cannot get stops with any frequency.|
6-8 with Rudy Gay! Not that bad! Not that bad!
Did you know they're 6-9-1 against the spread at home? Of course, they're also 12-4 at home now. They don't make it look impressive, but they get it done. Curry struggled, Lee wasn't great, Thompson didn't tear it up. But Andre Iguodala stepped up. Too many weapons for it not to be close.
And when it gets close, you get Steph'd.
A really good fight for a team on a long road trip falling apart. They had great contributions from Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger. Even Kris Humphries. They needed one more player. Maybe a point guard. With great passing skills.
Anyway, they hung in to the end, but it's still a loss. The season is over, they just need to accept it.
There is no upside. There is no bright spot. There is no silver lining. They are one of the worst defensive teams you'll ever see. Pau Gasol, their best player, was embarrassed at both ends by Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
They are horrible, injuries, no injuries, whatever. Take your time, Kobe. No need to rush back.
No Chris Paul and they just tore up the Lakers. Darren Collison was actually really good, but the story is Blake Griffin. He just did everything. Dunked on people, ran the floor, played defense, and even knocked down the mid-rage jumper. Such a great game for them, and the destruction of their tenant mates makes it all the sweeter.