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Nightly Grades: Anthony Davis is a destroyer of worlds

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-

Of course. All they needed was Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, and Jason Smith to get hurt so they could come together and play their best basketball. Of course.

Anyway, fantastic performance. Austin Rivers is really becoming a good NBA player, Eric Gordon had a strong performance which he's been looking for, and their defense was a step better than it has been.

But the story here? Anthony Davis with 30 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one steal, eight (!!) blocks. He had more blocks than missed field goals. He is the embodiment of space and time. He is a destroyer of worlds. He in unstoppable. The Unibrow is something else, in just his second season.

F

First off, Anthony Bennett had 15 points and eight rebounds. Good on him, the kid's had a rough year and it was great to see him get some good things going in garbage time.

Now.

This team's defense is so horrible, it really can't be explained in print. The defense just melted around whatever the Pelicans presented. Slow rotations, poor contests, a lack of trust, it was all bad.

The worst part, though, was the attitude. The team just caved in the second half. They knew they couldn't compete (with the Pelicans!) and just surrendered. Nothing is going well right now, after an initial bump after the Deng trade.

F-

Remember, they don't rebuild, they reload.

Woof.

A+

Some really good stuff here by New York. The opponent was horrible, but you play who's in front of you and the Knicks absolutely clocked them.

Their defense was especially good. They contained them, they forced them into their worst habits, and they controlled the glass effectively. They did exactly what they needed to do and Carmelo Anthony continues what is honestly a better season than last year.

Great win for the Knicks, three in a row now.

D

There's just no consistency on defense. They never seem to be on the same page. Detroit wasn't doing anything special, but the Magic just made it too easy for the Pistons. Meanwhile, the veterans on this team have kind of let the team down in terms of competitiveness.

Might be time to go ahead and liquidate the veteran contracts and give the team to the kids.

B

Size, size, size. 17 offensive rebounds for the Pistons, 44 points in the paint. They bullied Orlando and that's a pretty good approach for a team that struggles to find an identity. A nice "put the panic button down" win for Detroit.

D

No Danny Green. No Kawhi Leonard. No Tiago Splitter. And then Manu got hurt in the third. That was all she wrote.

The Spurs also just couldn't find gaps against a great Rockets defensive performance. They went to the Hack-a-Dwight a little early and a little too long, and their outside shooters aren't punishing doubles like they have in recent years.

They just have to survive the injuries, but the list is getting long.

B

Loved this performance without Harden. Really dug in defensively, and stuck to some basics. They didn't try and run and gun, they worked for quality looks and they focused on staying with slowing down the Spurs' mechanics.

Like this, from Terrence Jones on a pick and post.

Just really good stuff. Jeremy Lin was terrific, Dwight Howard's presence was felt more than ever, and a great win at home vs. a title contender.

A+

It was a clinic.

The Grizzlies wandered into Portland, rented space in the Mota Center (they don't deserve to call it the Rose Garden tonight), put up their doctorate degree, installed some office furniture and opened a clinic.

Grit Grind defense? Check.

Ball movement? Check.

Making shots in which you jump before releasing? Amazingly, check.

Here, let me show you.

And all that lead to:

They closed out on shooters, taking away the lifeblood of Portland. They attacked in the pick and roll on both ends. And they flummoxed a helpless Portland defense. Mike Conley was a surgeon.

It was a beating. Get out of the Grizzlies' way.

F-

Everything is falling apart. Their offense gets chopped off at the head if you take away the three-ball and their defense is a mess. They don't help the helper, they don't find the extra rotation, and they don't know how to balance things out when the game gets ugly.

They need some help, mostly just to pass better and find better shots. Damian LIllard had a really hard time with Mike Conley on both ends, and the Grizzlies' size crushed them.

D

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 36 points on 40 shots.

They will not win when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combine for 36 points on 40 shots.

The defense was there. But the Wizards' perimeter defensive abilities slit their offensive throat. They just lost too much blood. They need someone to pick them up, and Jordan Crawford is not going to be it.

A really alarming loss at home.

B

Yeah, John Wall isn't an All-Star or worthy of Team USA. That's right. This guy.

Get out.

Great win for Washington who had answers for Golden State. Nene played well, they put together good effort defensively and had more of an identity than they've had in weeks. Terrific start to the road trip.

D

They hung around, kind of, and then lost because they stink.

Pau Gasol hit some shots because he took a lot but couldn't play defense. Take that and repeat it for every Laker. The end.

B

The scary part is that they didn't play well, or try hard, and had six players in double figures and won by 12. This team is the anti-Lakers.

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