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Nightly Grades: So long, 2014 season, and thanks for all the injuries

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
C+

Honestly, on the road, vs. a team with something to play for, when the Bulls were really just squabling over seed, it's pretty impressive they put this kind of effort in. They battled, they fought, and at times, it looked like they were going to out-better the Bobcats.

But if you want to know why the Bulls could struggle in the playoffs, look no further than the end of this game. Despite forcing overtime, the Bulls' offense was a mess of missed jumpers and turnovers, especially from Joakim Noah.

A game they could have won, but didn't need to.

The Bulls host the Wizards on Sunday.

B

It wound up not affecting their seeding, but man what a great game by the Cats. Just hung in there, and every time they needed a play, they found one. They almost ended it in regulation but Kemba Walker missed the step-back jumper.

Josh McRoberts will give Miami trouble in a first-round series, but too much of their offense gets funneled to Chris Douglas-Roberts, who isn't that player. Still, tough defense, big plays, an a fun win for the Bobcats fans, who will see the playoffs for the second time in franchise history this weekend.

This was the last regular season game for the franchise as the Bobcats. They will be the Hornets next season.

The Bobcats face Miami on Sunday in Game 1.

B-

In a season where everything, really, I mean, everything was tougher than it should have been, of course this game came down to the last seconds. Of course it went to overtime. Of course Mike Conley drove to draw a foul with 1.9 remaining and hit both free throws to give Memphis a one-point lead. Of course the Mavericks used three timeouts to set up their final shot from Monta Ellis.

And yet, the Grizzlies won. Despite the awful start. despite injuries, despite their own mistakes, the Grizzlies not only made the playoffs, but avoided the Spurs. The Thunder will likely win, but Memphis has a lot to be proud of about this season.

Grit Grind rolls on Saturday in Oklahoma City.

C+

They fought really hard in this game, and their zone-and-double scheme gave Memphis some fits. Vince Carter made huge plays, including a reverse dunk and Monta Ellis went nova late.

But they can't get stops. It has always been their problem, and it will be vs. the Spurs. Brutal loss to force them to take on San Antonio, starting Sunday.

B

Washington came out to a big start, but then faded. The Wizards struggled with Boston for a while, but after the Bobcats won, putting the pressure on them to avoid Miami, they hit the jets and were gone.

Bradley Beal could have a huge playoff series. He's a lockdown shooter and a gamer.

The Wizards travel to Chicago for their first playoff game in seven years Sunday.

C-

At one point, Kelly Olynyk drove and shot the Dirk fade-away. It went in. So that was nice.

This miserable season ends with the Celtics tied for fifth in the lottery.

D

This was like watching the team that tanked to get Derrick Rose but got Michael Beasley instead.

This was not the Heat.

The real Heat open Game 1 on South Beach Sunday.

B

Say what you want, but this team really does play hard. They have young players with talent to build on.

They just need to take a lot of jumpers this summer.

MCW shot 3 of 10 in his last game this season.

The Sixers hold the No. 2 spot in the lottery.

B

Tyler Zeller dropped 22 points and 11 rebounds off the bench as the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled a Brooklyn Nets team that was probably trying to avoid a first round matchup with the Chicago Bulls. Positive is Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving finished the game without getting in a fight.

F-

The Nets played just seven guys. Jason Collins received 39 minutes. Marquis Teague played 41 minutes. Somehow, they lost by 29 points.

B+

The Hawks don't have any depth so they had to play mostly starters Wednesday. How about Mike Muscala going 6 for 8 for 15 points?

The Hawks open against Indiana Saturday.

B

Brandon Knight scored 31 points in his final game of the season. That kid deserves better than what has happened to his career.

The Bucks are the No. 1 lottery team.

D-

They won, kazoo, congrats.

They looked horrible in doing so. If the Pistons weren't, you know, the Pistons, they would have lost this game. They needed it to clinch second-round home court, too.

Not a good look for anyone. They need better from their team. OKC is struggling going into the playoffs, just a little bit. Time to flip the switch, starting with Game 1 Saturday vs. Memphis.

KD scored 42 in the win because he's incredible.

F-

I've been more disappointed in a basketbal team, but it's rare.

Greg Monroe did play a great game Wednesday. They should try and hold onto him.

Their God-forsaken season ends with them holding onto their draft pick in the very last spot, provided no one jumps them.

C

Having a D-League team is useful in these kinds of situations because Troy Daniels came in, played 44 minutes and scored 22 points and the starters got to rest a lot.

Josh Powell's back in the league, so that's cool.

The Rockets open against the Blazers in Game 1 Sunday.

B

Tyreke Evans dropped 25-6-10 and really looked awesome the last two months of the year, wasted though they may be. Austin Rivers scored 18.

No, seriously, Austin Rivers scored 18.

The Pelicans will be sending their pick to the Sixers unless it is top-three after the lottery.

C+

Roy Hibbert went 1 for 7, so no, things are not better. But neither are the Magic.

Indiana hosts Atlanta Sunday.

D-

You wouldn't believe me if I told you, but the Magic cannot win without Nikola Vucevic. It's an unwritten law of the universe.

The Magic have the third spot in the lottery.

B

The Wolves had an easy opportunity to get their first .500 season in nearly a decade and they just let it go in a home game to a lowly Jazz team. Kevin Love was one assist shy of a triple dip as well, and finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds. However, he shot 4 of 15 from the field and 1 of 9 from three. Kevin Martin's 36 points were a nice way to end a disappointing season.

B

In what looked like a game that was never going to end, Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward finally put the Minnesota Timberwolves away and earned the Utah Jazz their 25th win of the season. Burke had 32 points and nine assists in the double overtime affair while Hayward just missed a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.

B

J.R. Smith scored seven of the Knicks' final nine points to put the Toronto Raptors away in the finale for New York. Smith finished with 30 points but he had nothing on the 13-point, 16-rebound, five-block performance by Cole Aldrich.

B

Nando de Colo reminded everybody (i.e. - me) that he's on the Toronto Raptors by playing 26 minutes off the bench and scoring 12 points on 12 shots. Raptors had 25 turnovers but even with the loss, they locked up the 3-seed thanks to the Bulls losing.

B

Eight of the nine Los Angeles Lakers' players who got into this game scored in double figures and the Lakers shot 40.7 percent from downtown as they finished with the sixth worst record in the NBA. Jordan Hill led the way with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

B

Tony Parker played 16 minutes in this game. That's about as significant as it got for the San Antonio Spurs in their regular season finale with nothing to play for.

B+

What do you do in meaningless games at the end of the season? You let meaningless games be highlighted by random scoring binges. The Golden State Warriors received 41 points off the bench from Jordan Crawford as they closed out their third most successful season in franchise history. Harrison Barnes chipped in 30 points.

B-

Randy Foye had 32 points and 11 assists and Anthony Randolph chipped in 19 points in the loss for the Denver Nuggets. It's not exactly Timofey Mozgov getting 23 and 29 but it's a decent way to end a horrible season.

B+

No starter played more than 14 minutes and Will Barton was allowed to shoot 20 times, which netted him 23 points in the final win of the regular season for the Portland Trail Blazers. Even Victor Claver scored 12 points in the game.

B

Jamal Crawford shined with 34 points and eight assists and the key Los Angeles Clippers' players rested in this meaningless loss. Once the Thunder beat the Pistons, the Clippers were settled into the 3-seed and had nothing to play for.

A-

29 points on 11-of-13 shooting from Archie Goodwin and the Morris twins combined for 37 points and 11 rebounds in the win. The 48th win of the season put them in the territory with the 2007-08 Warriors who won 48 games and missed the playoffs.

C+

Ben McLemore had 31 points on 20 shots and Travis Outlaw had 15 points as the KIngs closed out another losing season. DeMarcus Cousins missed the game due to suspension for his 16th technical, and Ray McCallum was the only other King in double figures with 13 points.

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