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Friday Night NBA Grades: What tanking? Sixers, Suns both 2-0.

Nov 2, 2013, 2:26 AM EDT

Utah Jazz v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Our grades from Thursday night around the NBA, or what you missed while trying to get that cat urine smell out of your computer….

source:  Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers. Something funny happened on the way to the lottery… the Sixers and Suns, two of the poster teams for the tanking/riggin’ for Wiggins efforts, are both undefeated. Phoenix picked up a dramatic victory over another tanktastic team in Utah thanks to a dramatic Eric Bledsoe game winning three. The Sixers have now beaten the Heat and Wizards, the latter thanks to 29 points on 14-of-20 shooting by Thaddeus Young. Neither of these teams can sustain this and make the playoffs, but credit the players for busting it and playing hard, that will get you some wins.

source:  James Harden, Houston Rockets. The Mavericks had no answer for Harden, who had 34 points on 11-of-17 shooting, leading to Houston to a comfortable win over Dallas. It was a game without much flow but when Dallas would start to make a run Harden would make a play — with the Mavs having cut the lead to 8 late in the third quarter Harden attacked into three Dallas defenders and got the and-1 to make the lead 11 again. In the fourth he basically iced the game when he attacked Dirk Nowitzki in transition and fouled him out while putting the Rockets up by 13. Sorry Kobe and Dwyane, Harden is the best two guard in the game now.

source:  New Orleans Pelicans defense. The Pelicans were not really impressive at either end of the court, but they let the lowly Magic shoot 55.7 overall and hit 11-of-22 from three (that’s an eFG% of 63.6). The Magic had an offensive rating of 114.7 points per 100 possessions (remember the Heat were the best in the league last year at 110.3). Aaron Afflalo dropped 30 (on 14 shots), but the real key was a 35-point first quarter by the Magic where Jameer Nelson hit a couple threes and Nikola Vucevic faced up Jason Smith and went 3-of-3 on him. The Pelicans were better defensively in their first game, but this was a bad night, we’ll see which is the real New Orleans team (with a young team expect a few nights like this).

source:  Brooklyn Nets offense. With a veteran team we expected Brooklyn could have good ball movement, but what we wondered is if guys would move off the ball, if the ball might stick too much at times. It didn’t against the Heat — there was a real fluidity to the Nets offense that was able to counter and get good looks against the aggressive defense. If their offense can build on this and keep moving the rock like this all season and into the playoffs the Nets start to look a whole lot more dangerous.

  1. captainwisdom8888 - Nov 2, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    Brett Brown is a lock for coach of the year if he manages to bring this team to a playoff berth. As a Sixers fan, I love the fact that this guy comes from a winning environment in San Antonio, and what he brings to Philly as far as changing the culture of the team through fundamental, defensive-minded basketball is something I’m looking forward to seeing some more of. When it comes to the way the Spurs practice and prepare, the vast majority of their focus is on defense and minimizing turnovers and mistakes. NBA players can score the ball in their sleep, so focusing almost entirely upon defense in practice is a good way to build a successful team.

  2. tommyshih - Nov 2, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    Must have missed the Timberwolves dismantling Durant and the Thunder, going up 110-66 before sending in the 3rd stringers.

    • davidly - Nov 2, 2013 at 6:03 AM

      A+ Ricky Martin, Minnesoo-da Timberwolves, ya? This former Menudo star turned roundball wunderkind had the kind of game that have you rubbing your eyes in disbelief, as he seemed to be two-players-in-one.

      To wit: Accounting for 53 minutes in a 48 minute regular season game, by the time he took his seat on the bench, he was a mind-boggling +45!

      His stats were nothing to wheeze at either: 8-19 and perfect from the stripe, he scored 23 points to go along with his 13 assists and 7 steals.

      • davidly - Nov 2, 2013 at 6:08 AM

        Sorry. Failed to close the bold with a /.

    • bigmeechy74 - Nov 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      it would be hilarious if the thunder barely made the playoffs or missed them entirely. They used to be my favorite team until they traded harden. I can’t respect or root for a team that does something that stupid

      • legend30 - Nov 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        You just admitted that you’re a bandwagon. “They used to be my favorite team until …” Come on really?

      • bigmeechy74 - Nov 3, 2013 at 9:13 AM

        That doesn’t make sense. I didn’t wait until they were good and start liking them. I liked them immediately when they moved from seattle when they were terrible. I quit liking them. So why would that be bandwagon…. come on really?

  3. cabrera24 - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Miami heat F-

  4. djjackson81 - Nov 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Funny thing is even with all this youth in Phoenix win or tank. Phoenix still has mega cap space to do whatever and 4 first round picks to stock pile or trade up for a monster like Wiggins or Parker

  5. iheartharvin - Nov 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Why no write up on how the Wolves torched OKC? laughable.

  6. spyder9669 - Nov 2, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    You tried to do a real slick post there…then you bombed by calling Rubio Ricky Martin. Anyway keep winning up there in Minnesota..then hand over that 2014 1st round pick to the Suns. With all our picks and cap space we are coming hard. Suns Dynasty coming next summer to a TV near you

    • mytthor - Nov 2, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      Slow down there, turbo. I can’t remember the last time I saw a future draft pick and a bunch of cap space win Finals MVP.

    • davidly - Nov 3, 2013 at 1:47 AM

      I was giving love to the combo of Ricky Rubio & Kevin Martin. Arcane as it may’ve been, the hints were the stats, particularly the 53 minute bit.

      In my opinion, where I bombed was in the formatting. Thanks for noticing.

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