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Sunday night NBA grades: Reggie Jackson hit one out of the park

Jan 6, 2014, 1:40 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while watching frigid NFL playoff games while wearing shorts in the comfort of your heated home…

source:  Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder. No pressure Reggie, all you have to do is replace an All-Star guard who is probably one of the five best athletes in the game… have fun with that. Jackson had been a quality backup all season, rounding out parts of his game in his third season, however  with Russell Westbrook out Jackson got thrust into a much bigger role. It took a few games but it looks like he’s adjusting to the role. Sunday he had a career-best 27 points — he started out 4-of-4 from the field and just seemed to gain confidence from there. He’s never going to be Westbrook, but if he can play closer to the level he did Sunday night OKC isn’t going to slip as much as some think.

source:  LeBron James, Miami Heat. He was a force early in the game attacking the rim, then he picked up 10 of his 30 points on the night in the fourth quarter when the Heat needed him. We can nit pick this if you want and note LeBron should have attacked Amir Johnson in the fourth quarter and not settled for pull-up jumpers, but once again LeBron was simply the best player on the floor and led the Heat to a nice win over Toronto.

source:  Washington Wizards third quarters. Is Randy Wittman letting his players eat a Big Mac and have a beer during halftime? Probably not, but that would explain what is going on with Washington. Friday night the Wizards were in a close game in the first half against the Raptors, then Toronto opened the third quarter on a 25-8 run and that was pretty much it. Sunday against the Warriors the game (in Washington) was tied at the half and Golden State opened the third quarter on a 19-3 run. Washington was down 25 before the third quarter ended. Whatever the Wizards are doing at halftime the last few games it’s time to go George Costanza and do the opposite.

source:  DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors. One of the reasons the Raptors have looked so good since the Rudy Gay trade is that DeRozan just looks like he has the space to do what he wants and attack. He looks comfortable now. DeRozan was matched up on LeBron and had 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting, plus dished out seven assists. He looked strong in the first half (but seemed to wear down at the end). He just needs to keep

  1. money2long - Jan 6, 2014 at 2:47 AM

    u left someone out who stood out. don’t worry, i’ll do your homework.

    kendall marshall
    B

    great dishing. not enough swishing. team loses. but what a floor general. diantoni works wonders with point guards. kendall’s star is bright in his new situation. looks to be a trend. 17 assists. deserves to be mentioned.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Mentioned him in the recaps, but he got smoked on D plenty in that game so it’s a generous grade.

      • money2long - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        understandable
        maybe i graded on a curve because a lot of people gave him no chance to even produce anything.

  2. saint1997 - Jan 6, 2014 at 6:31 AM

    DeRozan looks like a great second option now on a competitive team and should be an All-Star this year. If the Raptors can just find a star through draft or FA (Randle? Rondo?) to put next to Ross and Valenciunas then they’ll be set

  3. basketballhooper1 - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    “He looked strong in the first half (but seemed to wear down at the end). He just needs to keep”

    He just needs to keep what? Honestly how do you just end like that without even noticing?

  4. sportfandc - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    Does your grading system not go below D? That GS run against the Wiz was 30-5 to open the second half. Formula: Jack up long shot, miss, mope on defense… when they aren’t turning it over in the backcourt.

  5. nbascreed - Jan 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Reginald is benefiting from what most 2nd teamers crave, the ability to play without watching out for the hook. He knows that he has more slack, which frees him up mentally to take chances (fail/succeed) that he otherwise wouldn’t. This in turn leads to him getting better, learning what he can and cannot do, and doing more of the former while working on the latter.

    OKC does the BEST job, bar none, of developing players. Lamb and Jackson may not ever be all-stars but they will be quality backcourt contributors for years to come.

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