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Sunday NBA grades: Turns out the Spurs’ starters are good

Nov 11, 2013, 12:12 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

Our grades from Sunday around the NBA, or what you missed while watching where in the world people are dropping F-bombs on twitter….

source:  San Antonio Spurs’ starting five. The Spurs starting five of Tony Parker, Danny Green, Marco Belinelli, Boris Diaw and Tim Duncan only played 12 minutes together against the Knicks Sunday, but they shot 72 percent from the floor, hit 5-of-6 from three and accounted for +23 of the Spurs 31-point win. Yes, they did it against a sieve of a defense (without Tyson Chandler) but the fact they attacked and put the game away early was to getting rest late.

source:  Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder. He’s had to carry the load with Russell Westbrook still shaking off the rust (4-of-16) — plus Westbrook got ejected with the Thunder down 10 and just over 3 minutes left. Durant shouldered the load with 33 points on 23 shots, plus he hit the pull up three to send the game to overtime. The Thunder went on to win the game and Durant had four in the overtime.

source:  Phoenix Suns’ defense. While nobody has been watching Jeff Hornacek has his Suns playing good defense — they are sixth in the NBA allowing 96.7 points per 100 possessions, and they held the Pelicans to 97.2. New Orleans shot just 47.7 percent inside 8 feet and 37.5 percent in the midrange (plus 4-of-13 from three). Defense at the NBA level starts with effort and buying into the system and Hornacek’s Suns are doing that and they are 5-2 because of it.

source:  Los Angeles Lakers’ defense. On the top of the Lakers pre-game white board Mike D’Antoni wrote to get back in transition (to force Minnesota into half court sets) and close out on shooters — the Lakers did neither of those. Not even close. They had no energy or commitment to the system. Especially in the first quarter when the Timberwolves shot 76.2 percent overall and hit 7-of-9 from three, plus went on a 27-2 run. For the half Minnesota shot 53.2 percent and added another 10 points at the line. The Lakers escape with a “D-” because they did better in the second half, although much of that seemed to be Minnesota taking its foot off the gas. Ricky Rubio had a triple double (12 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds). The Lakers are 22nd in the NBA in defensive efficiency and their occasionally good bench play can’t bail them out of that.

  1. allday420ap - Nov 11, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    Lakers got shalakked

    • kavika6 - Nov 11, 2013 at 2:28 AM

      So did the Knicks.

      • tomshoe - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:44 AM

        Shooting 72% from the floor and smacking an Eastern Conference playoff team by 31.

        Yep, they’re the Spurs.

  2. larjones64 - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    No Wolves love here. They scored 47 points in the first qtr for God’s sake! You did mention ( while ripping the Lakers) Rubio’s triple double. The Wolves are no longer a team to be ignored.

  3. doorharp11 - Nov 11, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    you will have to excuse the the reporters for their attention span. they are not educated enough or get paid enough to report on every team so they like everyone else have to go with bigger names.

  4. lastdukestreetking - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    This current Knicks team, playing awful, are not a playoff team even in the Eastern Conference.

  5. jcmeyer10 - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    No love for the Celtics scoring 5 points in the final second?

  6. kavika6 - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    “Turns out the Spurs’ starters are good”

    One free throw from a championship good.

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