Nightly Grades: There were actually NBA games tonight, none good
On a night in which college hoops had the spotlight, the NBA had four games that weren't all that close. We'll grade them anyway.
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.
|A||Michael Beasley had 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting in 20 minutes. That's how easy this game was for Miami.|
|A||Xavier Henry made this one memorable and the Lakers almost had as many assists (33) as the Pelicans had made baskets (34). This was the kind of dominating win that makes people scratch their heads when they want to make fun of the Lakers. And the fans got tacos!|
|A||The Golden State Warriors shot 60.0 percent from the field. Jermaine O'Neal scored 17 points on eight shots off the bench. Andre Iguodala was distributing (11 assists) like crazy and I'm pretty sure all of them came on behind-the-back passes. Warriors cruised to another easy victory and didn't have to tax the starters.|
This is the kind of win the Dallas Mavericks can't afford to give away if they're going to be in the playoffs come April. At home against a much weaker Eastern Conference team isn't a guaranteed win but it's one they could overlook and screw up. They didn't let that happen and even survived a poor shooting night from Dirk Nowitzki.
Vince Carter's 16 points off the bench were huge and their halfcourt defense was pretty stingy. They're a little lucky the 28 fast break points they gave up didn't haunt them.
|C-||The Washington Wizards managed to get a 27-point effort from Trevor Ariza (on good shooting too!) and wasted it. I don't know if it's a bad thing they wasted it or if it's a sign that things went horribly wrong for the Wiz. Regardless, the backcourt couldn't make a shot (Bradley Beal and John Wall a combined 7-of-20), even though they distributed nicely (17 assists).|
|D||There was a time in which the Milwaukee Bucks could come into Miami and give the Heat a whole lot of trouble. This is not that team anymore. This Bucks team is desperate for offense in the most dysfunctional ways and they simply can't match the firepower of the Heat when they decide enough is enough. The starters gave the Bucks pretty much nothing tonight.|
There isn't any shame in losing to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. It's hard to say there was much effort there on the Pistons' part because they allowed the Warriors to shoot 60.0 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from downtown. The Pistons didn't move the ball, they didn't move their feet, and they couldn't shoot at all.
Again, nobody would blame you for a loss tonight but it has to be a better looking loss than that.
This Los Angeles Lakers team can be pretty good at home and the New Orleans Pelicans have struggled mightlily on the road so far this year. That still doesn't excuse a Pelicans team that is supposed to be fighting for a playoff spot this year from getting blown out by the Lakers in the Staples Center.
The perimeter trio of Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, and Tyreke Evans combined to score 35 points on 11-of-37 shooting. That's just not acceptable against this Lakers' perimeter. Bad, bad loss for the large birds.
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