Nightly Grades: Kevin Durant takes one cold-blooded

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. 


Orlando just doesn't have the weapons at this point. 


The Brooklyn Nets have a lot of great things going, including Joe Johnson 's superior offensive weaponry. It's incredible to see this team compared to December. It's just night and day. Something just clicked. 


They just got foul-happy. They made the plays you need to make, were defending well and making sure LeBron James was hammered when he went to the rim, but they also bumped too many guys. 

They could use a post presence of any kind beyond Jared Sullinger , but it wasn't a bad loss at all. 


Miami had control of this game, lost it, regained it, lost it, and then fell apart before just holding on thanks to the Boston Celtics ' inability to avoid fouling. 

They won. That's great. But this team's defensive issues continue. Boston should not be able to hang with them. 


Rudy Gay is a furious force of nature. He's just taking over games now, consistently and without warning. He took over and just dominated the New Orleans Pelicans . They had no hope against him. 

The Sacramento Kings have enough offense to make a run for an outside shot at the eighth seed. They just need to find some defensive consistency.


A broken team missng two of their three best players on a back to back vs. a red-hot Kings team? That's how this goes. 


See, first Perk was like: 

And then KD was like: 

Kevin Durant with 46 points on 17-25 shooting, that's pretty good. 

But the most important thing in this game? The Oklahoma City Thunder 's defense just locked up the Blazers and smothered them completely. This is an underrated part of their performance. They are really good defensively. 

But seriously, KD is not nice. 


It was a back to back and fourth in five nights so we're going to give them a break here, despite being outscored 13-2 in the final 3:10. Everything was great for that first three and a half quarters. They shared the ball, they knocked down shots, they were doing a good job on the inside. 

But they just came apart in the fourth quarter. They were rattled and it showed on both ends. Nicolas Batum didn't do anything wrong on Kevin Durant but he's reaching the point where you have to guard him up close at all times. 

Tough loss. 


There's still some life in this team after all. Great job of taking care of a bad team on the road. They need to get some confdence back and their defense really stepped up in this game, especilly Ricky Rubio 's. All five starters in double figures for the Wolves. 


Your standard Utah Jazz loss. They couldn't get stops against the Wolves' offense which can still run at a high level. Without Derrick Favors , they didn't have the firepower to hang around or protect the rim well enough. Trey Burke struggles with Ricky Rubio's defense, but that's to be expected as wll. 

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

Show Comments Hide Comments
CBS Sports Shop
NBA Christmas Day Jerseys
Our Latest Stories