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Thursday night NBA Grades: Mike Woodson is allowed to exhale

Dec 6, 2013, 2:38 AM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks Getty Images

Our nightly grades from around the NBA, or what you missed while singing Doe, a deer, a female deer… Ray, a drop of golden sun…

source:  Mike Woodson, coach New York Knicks. For a night, the Knicks looked pretty good and so Woodson can sleep without the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head. The core issues with the Knicks slow start have more to do with roster construction and injuries than Woodson. Nonetheless, when James Dolan is your owner your job is never safe, especially after 9 straight losses. Thursday night the “laughingstock” Knicks were knocking down threes, showing energy on defense and generally looking like the defending Atlantic Division champs. They cruised to a much needed win.

source:  The Brooklyn Nets. Right now they are a tire fire and this was a disaster of a game. There were no positive takeaways from a blowout loss at home to their rivals. Yes, injuries are robbing this team of Deron Williams, Paul Pierce and others, but nobody that is left played with pride or energy.

source:  Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls. Boozer has struggled since Rose went down, for whatever reason, but he showed up aggressive in this one and the Heat had no answers. He had 27 points and shot 8-of-12 in the paint to get most of those points. Plus he pulled down 9 rebounds. The combination of Boozer and Joakim Noah (17 points, 15 rebounds) was too much for the Heat up front and could win the Bulls a fair amount of games this season.

source:  Chicago Bulls’ defense. In the first five games since Derrick Rose went down with a torn meniscus, the Chicago Bulls defense was a mess. Whether they were too focused on the offense or just shell-shocked, they were giving up 13 more points per 100 possessions than they had in their first 10 games. Thursday night against the Heat the Bulls defense was back — and when they defend they can beat anybody on a given night. They made LeBron James work for his 21 points and Chris Bosh struggled against the Bulls size. Chicago is not a contender anymore, but they are back to being good.

source:  Los Angeles Clippers’ defense. Since we have talked a lot about how bad the Clips defense has been this season, we need to acknowledge when things go right — they held Memphis to 37.7 percent shooting. Part of that was self-inflicted by Memphis as they got some looks they like but couldn’t execute them — no Marc Gasol really hurts and the loss of Ed Davis and Tony Allen exacerbates things. Still, the Clips had a good defensive game, we should acknowledge it.

  1. nokoolaidcowboy - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Allowed to exhale? Really over one game? Against the Nets?

    • cruzan80 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      Had the Knicks lost this game….badly….he’s probably out of a job this morning…so yeah Mr. Woodson should definitely exhale.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:17 AM

      funny how a nba point guard in the lineup can save your job.

      • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:19 AM

        if Woody can get a all star center to guard the hole he could easily be here for two weeks.

      • ryanrockzzz - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        or just you know…playing a game against the worst team in the NBA.

  2. zickhead - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    The past 2 games where Kidd sent Lawrence Frank to the video room, the Nets have been getting blown out. I think we’re starting to see that Kidd probably is the problem and not just Frank.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      maybe Frank was watching cartoon videos
      and Kidd thought he was scouting the opponent.
      are the Nets still scheduled to still play Miami in the ECF?

  3. belleby123 - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Chicago is not a contender anymore? Let’s see where they are at the 70 game mark or so. I’m expecting them to have a stronger second half than the Pacers.

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