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Thursday night NBA grades: Golden State get a couple “A” grades

Jan 3, 2014, 3:22 AM EDT

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while worrying about what was really in your donkey meat

source:  Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. When he is going like he was in this game — especially in the third quarter when he had 14 of his 36 — there is nothing you can do. Miami tried switching defenders, even doubled him a few times, but it didn’t work. Curry’s quick release was too much for Miami. However it wasn’t just the hot shooting (those 36 points came on 22 shots) it was the 12 assists — he was the catalyst of some fantastic ball movement from the Warriors. This was his best game of the season and the Warriors looked like the team they were in the playoffs last year for the first time in a while.

source:  David Lee, Goden State Warriors. Golden State clearly had a plan early to punish Miami inside and it was David Lee who took the most advantage — he had 13 points in the first 12 minutes as Shane Battier had no answers for him. Lee finished 32 points on 17 shots, plus he pulled down 14 rebounds. Lee the last few weeks is playing as well as I can remember him playing.

source:   Orlando Magic’s last 50 seconds of regulation (and overtime). If you have a nine point lead with one minute left in the game, you should not lose it. This was an ugly loss, there were so many mistakes at the end. Like Jameer Nelson fouling Jarrett Jack on a three point attempt. Or how E’Twaun Moore missed two clutch free throws (a guy shooting 90 percent from the stipe the rest of the season). Or there was Dion Waiters driving layup to tie the game — he blows by Arron Afflalo and there is just no help. It was a lot of mistakes that opened the door for the Cavaliers to come back.

source:  Brooklyn Nets. A come from behind win on the road to beat Oklahoma City? I don’t care who the Thunder were without, that’s the Brooklyn Nets we thought we were getting this season. The turnaround was sparked with Paul Pierce at the four and Deron Williams dropping a season-best 29. Then Joe Johnson capped the whole thing off in dramatic fashion.

source:  Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks. He is not getting this grade for the 27 points, although it showed how much the Knicks needed him back. He’s not getting this grade for the dozen rebounds. No, he is getting this grade because he was drawing the double then sharing the rock with the open man. His four assists on the night don’t do justice to how he was sharing the rock and how the rest of the Knicks followed his lead. That ball movement exposed a night of slow Spurs defensive rotations (uncharacteristic of them) and it all started with Anthony.

  1. saint1997 - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:37 AM

    Anthony often seems like he is less of a willing passer than he is. He’s forced to kick out from double teams which often lead to a bucket, just not directly from his pass

  2. theromeo2k - Jan 3, 2014 at 4:50 AM

    Imagine if Joe Johnson had an opportunity to go to the Finals multiple times (like Lebron), Oh man that would be fun to watch with all the Buzzer beaters game-winning shots he’d make. He’d be Robert Horry II. B-)

  3. davidly - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:06 AM

    Criticize Kurt’s creative genius (not to mention the free service he helps provide) one more time and they’ll be no more Innernets for you, young man!

  4. davidly - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    Golden State defends their Lineal Championship on the reigning champs home court! Not too shabby.

  5. davidly - Jan 3, 2014 at 6:16 AM

    Knicks, Nets, Sixers.
    These lowlies would have netted the East a sixer on the night had it not been for the…

    Bobcats, Bucks, Heat.
    …who all bucked the trend and got nicked.

  6. progress2011 - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    The Warriors are probably the most exciting team to watch, in the entire NBA. That type of shooting is impressive, even if they are not your team.

    The perimeter shooters were wide open because David Lee was dominating the paint….he was so unstoppable, he looked like a young Karl Malone, Charles Barkley etc. etc. etc.

    I know the Heat have a swarming attacking defense and it has prevailed the past two years. BUT unless they can insert Oden or get somebody to defend the paint against teams with better-than-average post players………the road to a 3 Peat looks very uncertain.

    • trueballs - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      This was a great win for GS. I agree with your first paragraph, but let’s slow down on David Lee. He will not be that David Lee in the playoffs.

      About the Heat’s defense:
      1. Oden wouldn’t have helped and probably can’t guard Lee anyway.
      2. This was not the Heat defense you’ll see in the playoffs.

      The Warriors can compete and their ceiling is very high, but can they really do this four times against another team in the Finals?

      • theromeo2k - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:44 PM


        My take on your comments/points:

        We never know how David Lee may or may not be in the playoffs until It IS the playoffs. So just wait and we’ll see.

        1. Disagree
        2. Agree

        They could, why not? They did it last year twice and gave the Spurs some headaches.

  7. innovativethinking87 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Damian Lillard should be up here. A+ on 6/6 3PTs

    • trueballs - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Lillard should be brought up more. Curry is still more talented, but Dame’s 3pt shooting is right there with Curry this season. It’s not as pretty, but Dame gets it done! and he’s 23!

      • therealroman - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        Lillard’s Jumper is also beautiful though!! Love the kid!

      • money2long - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        his jumper looks okay, wouldn’t describe the form as beautiful but the results are another story. automatic.

  8. romneycareupheld - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    The Blazers hit 21 3s last night, shooting 66% from beyond the arc. That ties a franchise record which they had set just a few weeks ago.

    They are the only NBA team to ever hit 20+ 3s twice in the same season.


  9. fnf417 - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Lebron’s a beast that couldn’t defend Curry!!

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