Nightly Grades: Heat take care of business vs. Lakers
Nightly grades featuring Miami vs. the Lakers.
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.
Their defense still has gaps and issues, but you wonder how much of that has to do with injuries to guys playing through it combined with the loss of Dwyane Wade's defensive quickness.
It wasn't a convincing win; it was just business as usual.
The Lakers have a bad team full of bad players who play bad defense. Occasionally they make some shots, often very bad ones (if shot by Nick Young) that go in. They do a good job of drawing fouls by playing fast and coming hard off of screens, and when Pau Gasol looks alive.
But all in all, they can't get stops, go to offensive options which are neither consistent nor reliable, and don't have the personnel to execute a gameplan at a high level.
Also, this happened.
Finished exceptionally well. Even when Denver defended their threes very well, they stuck with their gameplan and let LaMarcus Aldridge eat to the tune of a career-high 44 points. He scored all the Blazers points in the last 9:18 of the game.
Oh, and Damian Lillard did this:
They probably shouldn't have trailed vs. Denver, but they took care of business and got another win.
LaMarcus Aldridge is a volcano of awesome.
They blew a fifteen-point lead in the second-half and a multiple-possession lead late. They played well to get there, sharing the ball, hitting big shots and getting great penetration.
But Ty Lawson evaporated in the second half, J.J. Hickson was just killed on the glass by Robin Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge (!) and the Blazers attacked the glass off free throw misses, which is unaccepable.
Down three late, they drew up a 35-foot hoist from Randy Foye with 18 seconds left. Down three again, with less time on the clock, they went for a quick two. It was strange.
The Nuggets' passing was problematic as well, as Timofey Mozgov and Hickson had trouble catching the ball.
They're not better than Portland, but they should have won this game.
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Maybe just let everybody enjoy this