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Nightly Grades: Knicks still rolling

By Royce Young | 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

Hey, um. That's now seven straight. And while the other six were against mostly terrible teams, the Knicks validated them all by beating the Pacers 92-86 behind 34 from Carmelo Anthony.

It still seems like quite the longshot for them to make an actual playoff push, but the Knicks are playing their best basketball of the season and the ball movement and spacing against the Pacers was excellent. Multiple players touching the ball, multiple extra passes. Phil Jackson's Zen is already rubbing off on them.

A

The Knicks aren't the only team in New York on a streak. The Nets won their 10th straight at home, topping the Bobcats, 104-99. Deron Williams had 25 with Joe Johnson adding 20 and Shaun Livingston 17. The Nets keep winning.

A

The Celtics are now 2-1 againt the Heat this season. Avery Bradley put up 23, Rajon Rondo had nine points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists, and the Celtics drilled 13 of 28 from deep.

A

Give the Timberwolves credit. Their season has all but slipped away, but they're still scrapping, going on the road to upset the Mavericks 123-122 in overtime on a Kevin Love game winner.

B+They messed around for far too long against the hapless Magic, but eventually with a strong second half, the Suns got an important win. Goran Dragic had 18 and the Suns kept pace with the Grizzlies and picked up a game on the Mavericks.
B+

The sign of a truly good team: Handling business on the road against a mediocre to bad team. The Raptors were down entering the fourth in New Orleans, but outscored the Pelicans 26-15 over the final 12 minutes.

B

Kudos due to taking care of their business against the Jazz. The Grizzlies are hanging on to their postseason hopes as Zach Randolph put up 21 and 11.

B

They beat the 76ers. Moving on.

C

The Bobcats dropped a second straight, but their effort against the hot Nets was admirable. Every quarter was close and Al Jefferson had another double-double (18-12). There's something to be said for competing, despite losing. The Bobcats are in games and playing well. Winning is the mission, but it's a step forward to just give themselves a chance every game out.

D

A decent effort against the Bulls, but that's now 22 straight. This GIF sums up the 76ers season perfectly:

F+

The Mavericks played so well in back-to-back wins on Sunday in OKC and home on Monday, so maybe this was due. But falling in overtime against the Wolves is painful, especially since they should've won this game three or four different times. Any loss stings when you're in a playoff battle, but one like this could prove costly later on.

F

The Pacers had quietly won four straight, calming some of the should-we-panic nerves. But a road loss to the streaking Knicks just brings it all back. Paul George struggled yet again, going 4 for 17 from the floor. Nobody should be freaking, but this wasn't a good look for an Eastern contender.

F

No LeBron James, and lots of problems. The Pacers losing eases some of the pain in falling to the Celtics, but the defense was bad and the fourth quarter execution poor. It's like that LeBron guy is kind of important.

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