Nightly Grades: Blazers keep the fires burning

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

The Blazers just stay so consistent with their offensive attack. They always make the right pass, always work to find the best shot they can, always stay within themselves. They never got desperate and tried for the homerun shots. They just stuck with what works and outran the Brooklyn Nets

Portland won on a back-to-back road-and-road on the East Coast. They're 9-2 and have been one of the most consistently good teams so far this season. Great win after the Nets came out pretending to be able to play basketball. 

F

You gotta win that game. You just have to win that game. Even without Brook Lopez and Deron Williams . They had a big first-quarter lead, Kevin Garnett was actually hitting shots (he finished with 16 points on 19 shots). 

Ken Berger thinks everything's hunkey-dorey and they'll be fine. They probably will be. But that's a bad loss against a team on a back-to-back on the East coast. 

D+ Really hung with Chicago in the United Center, and made one great play after another to stay within range. They uglied the game up and played tough ball with one of the toughest teams in the league. Gerald Henderson was magnificent, and the Cats stayed in there without Al Jefferson . Just couldn't quite close the gap thanks to some tough shots by the Chicago Bulls , but a good loss. 
B- Your typical Bulls win. It wasnt pretty, it wasn't dominant, but it was enough. They made some tough shots against a really good effort by the Charlotte Hornets . Luol Deng was terrific, but that offense is still a huge question mark. Good enough for another win, though. 
B- Struggled for most of the game, but closed it out. Kevin Durant was great again, but Serge Ibaka 's rebounding was really the biggest part of their attack down the stretch. A solid win, but they still need help on the defensive end. 
D+  On the road in a tough environment, they pushed OKC right to the end. A terrible final play call ruined their chances at stealing it but they made a lot of big plays to hang. Still learning to weather runs from the other team, though. 
D- Gave a good effort, but you know, they kind of are who we thought they were.   Missed Michael Carter-Williams a lot. 
A Took care of business at home, and that's good enough. Shawn Marion , 20 points. Dirk Nowitzki , 20 points, Monta Ellis , 24 points. There's your ballgame. 
A Smoked the Utah Jazz . It's what they do. Stephen Curry got hurt and they still closed. (Curry's fine.) Not a hard win, but they're also just not having letdown games. 
F- They are so bad. 
B+

Memphis has looked so bad for most of the season, but had built some momentum. This should have been a loss, though. Back-to-back, on the road, vs. a rival who was hot as fire coming in. But instead, Marc Gasol Wendigo'd his way to a dominant performance at both ends, the Memphis Grizzlies ' offense looked much more wide open and they got their best win of the season. 

Close the door to the panic button and head back inside off the ledge. 

D They can't even defend a team that can't hit jump shots. They get lost on offense when the easy stuff comes sometimes and they make really bad mistakes defensively that cost them routinely. Still managed to hang thanks to their offense, but this was a tough one. 
CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

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