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Wednesday Night’s NBA Grades: How about that Michael Carter-Williams?

Oct 31, 2013, 1:50 AM EDT

Michael Carter-Williams AP

Our grades from Tuesday night around the NBA, or what you missed while throwing back a few bottles of snake venom with your buddies.

source:  Michael Carter Williams, Philadelphia 76ers. His first NBA bucket came on a steal and coast-to-coast drive and slam against the Miami Heat. It doesn’t get much better than that… except it did. He finished with 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting (4-of-6 from three) with 12 assists and one turnover. Against the defense that shut down Derrick Rose the night before (yes, it’s different but still). Fittingly, the last Sixer to score that many in his debut was Allen Iverson with 30 (Iverson officially retired earlier in the day).

source:  Cleveland Cavaliers Defense. The Brooklyn Nets have a loaded offense (Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and on down the line) but the Cavaliers held them to 94 points on 40.2 percent shooting, or just 95.4 points per 100 possessions. Mike Brown has this team being very aggressive, doubling, they had good help from the weak side, yet they didn’t leave guys wide open on the perimeter. It wasn’t perfect but if they defend like this all season the Cavs are a playoff team.

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source:  New York Knicks. It was a tale of two halves. The Knicks won the first half 56-31, shot 56.4 percent while holding the Bucks to 38.2 percent shooting, they looked fantastic. The ball moved beautifully. Then in the second half the Knicks were outscored 53-34, they shot 43.8 percent, their defense was bad and they tried to blow the lead but couldn’t. In the end they are 1-0, but that second half wasn’t pretty.

source:  Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets. He had 26 rebounds, 17 in the first half, while added 17 points on 57.1 percent shooting. He was setting picks and was moving well on the roll, he was finishing and playing smart. Oh, and he had a strong defensive game, too. Howard looked more like his old self than he ever did last year, and that might worry the rest of the NBA.

source:  Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder. With Russell Westbrook out (maybe only for a couple weeks, but still out) the Thunder are going to lean heavily on Durant, and he put up 42 points to lead the Thunder to a win over the Jazz. He gets a “B” because of the 9-for-24 shooting, but he got to the line 24 times (hitting 22) to make up for it. He was trying to make things happen in an offense that was largely “throw it to Durant and hope he can do something.” Scott Brooks has to do better — there was terrible ball movement from the Thunder, if that doesn’t change they are going to struggle against better squads.

  1. rickeye9 - Oct 31, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    typical, no west coast games on here…

    • thekingdave - Oct 31, 2013 at 2:22 AM

      Uh, is this your first time on PBT? We were inundated with Laker recaps on a nightly basis last season, even when they were many games under .500 before the fun. I am pretty surprised there isn’t a recap of the Laker game up yet given Pollakoff and Helin’s Laker ties.

  2. poundtherock - Oct 31, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    DeMarcus Cousins was a beast in the Kings’ 2013 home opener victory. IN SAC-RA-MEN-TO!!! Great game and performance. You should have stayed up to watch it.

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 31, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      You know that Kurt is West Coast based, right?

      • Kurt Helin - Nov 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        I live in the LBC.

  3. ultemo - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    No love for the California teams? I heard Sacramento and Golden State had amazing games tonight in their home openers :)

  4. edwardemanuelson - Oct 31, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    9 steals… Unbelievable!

  5. roachyxxx - Oct 31, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    To quote Bill Murray in “Caddyshack”: “A Cinderella kid out of nowhere…”

  6. ryanrockzzz - Oct 31, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    MCW…boy..may be the best game he plays all year. Great start to his Sixers career last night. 9 steals were really something special.

    I wish the article had mentioned a few others who had monsters games. Wizard’s Trevor Ariza pulling down a double-double last night, pulling 28 points to go along with 10 boards, may have been the second biggest surprise game of the night.

    Biggest question though now rests with Demarcus Cousins. 30 pts last night, looked sharp on both ends of the floor. Could it be??

  7. cruzan80 - Oct 31, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Wheres the Heat’s “grade” Kurt?

  8. mungman69 - Oct 31, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    MCW and the Sixers caught Miami napping. Still, Miami had a 9 point lead in the 4th quarter and the Sixers came back. No tanking in this game.

    • redbaronx - Oct 31, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      @mungman69 – Good for the players! Even if managment wants to tank, good for those guys giving A effort on the floor.

  9. antistratfordian - Oct 31, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    A lot of what Carter-Williams did was circumstantial. He was barely noticeable in the game aside from a few threes and late free throws. The vast majority of his steals, assists and rebounds had more to do with what Miami wasn’t doing than anything the Sixers were doing – especially early.

    The player of the game for the Sixers was easily Evan Turner.

  10. acrill - Oct 31, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Kevin Love deserves an A.

    31 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, returning from lingering injuries last season. Another all star year lies ahead.

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