Nightly Grades: Nets hold off Heat


OK, when they beat the Heat, it was kind of funny to give them an F since they're supposed to be tanking and such. But now they're 2-0 after beating the Wizards 109-102, and you've got to give it up to this young team. They're not listening to the talk that they could be one of the worst teams ever. They're just playing. You can't argue with 2-0. 

A The Harden-Howard duo is looking mighty good as the Rockets rolled up the Mavericks 113-105 with Harden going for 34 and Howard putting up another double-double (13 points, 16 boards). Two games in and the questions about chemistry don't seem to be all that worrisome for the Rockets. 
A They fancy themselves to be an Eastern contender, so to prove it, they beat the Heat. I think there's some obvious title hangover stuff at play here for the Heat, but a win is a win. The Nets looked solid at containting Miami in the halfcourt and Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson came up big on the offensive end down the stretch. 
B They're on the board. It took outscoring the Celtics 34-15 in the fourth quarter, but the Bucks have their first win and didn't in an opposite way. The starters combined for 39 points, while the bench, led by Zaza Pachulia, combined for 66. That's one way to do it.
D The Heat are 1-2 and I think most of us expected the angry bounce-back game against the Nets after dropping an ugly one to the Sixers. They were competitive, but just lacked that certain sharpness and cutting edge that has made them so good the past few years. Hard to make jumpers with big heavy rings on your fingers. Probably should go ahead and take those off, guys.
F It's their worst loss since Feb. 20, 2011. The Thunder got absolutely bumrushed by the Wolves and with Kevin Durant scoring only 13 points, it became painfully obvious that unless he's scoring, they are pretty mediocre. Bigger concern: Durant only has two assists through two games. Is that a product of him not playing setup man well enough, or an indictment on his supporting cast?
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