Nightly Grades: Pistons win in Loyer's coaching debut

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. 


The Pistons have now won three straight games. Two under former coach Mo Cheeks, one now under interim man John Loyer. And get this: After tonight's 109-100 win over the Spurs -- yes, the Spurs -- the Pistons are amazingly tied for the eight-seed in the Eastern Conference. 

A Did you know: The Rockets have the league's longest current winning streak going at six games, and if the playoffs started today, would have homecourt advantage over the Clippers in the opening round as a five-seed. Their win tonight over the Timberwolves was impressive for two reasons: 1) It was on the road and 2) they owned the fourth quarter 25-11 to close out a 107-89 victory. 


They were taking on a short-handed Nuggets squad, but regardless, what a clinical, dominant takedown. That's how a superior team is supposed to beat up a downtrodden one. 


DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Patterson both had 22, Kyle Lowry had 19 and 12 assists, and the Raptors picked up a quality home win over the Pelicans

B They beat the Bucks. Throw a party. But Jeff Green did look great with 29 while Jared Sullinger had another double-double.
B The Warriors dismantled the 76ers. Good job? But there's this: Marreese Speights had 32 points in 24 minutes on 12-15 shooting. And even heard some MVP chants
D Remember that one time they started the season 3-0? Nobody else does either. Their last two games, they've been beaten by a combined 88 points (tonight, it was 43 to the Warriors). The league needs to install a mercy rule for them. But remember: Every loss is a win for them, so who cares!
D They got Kevin Love back, who said he'd "give it a go" tonight. And he gave them 31 and 10. Problem is, no one else really gave them much of anything. Love shot 9-23. The rest of the team shot 22-64. Together, they shot 35.6 percent. It wasn't great.

It's been a rugged season for them, particularly with the injury to Jrue Holiday, but here's the question: When are the Pelicans going to start winning some of these games? This team should be better than 22-29, especially with the way Anthony Davis has played. With Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans on the roster, it just seems like it should be better than this.


The Bucks fall to 9-42 after losing to the Celtics. Still need one more win to stay away from tying the worst record in NBA history.

F They shot 31.5 percent from the floor. As a team. And they got beat by 39. That is bad.

Uh, Spurs. Hello? I know there are injuries, and the age thing is kind of starting to show, but getting pretty much whipped by the Pistons isn't a great look. They're still just 3.5 games back of the Thunder, but with Russell Westbrook coming back soon, that feels more like 10.5.

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