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Wednesday night NBA grades: Don’t look now, but Brooklyn is playing with heart

Jan 9, 2014, 4:18 AM EDT

Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while getting your dinner out of the burrito vending machine….

source:  Brooklyn Nets. For the first third of the season the Nets were listless, seeming adrift, and continually beset by injuries. Well, the injuries are still there but these Nets are playing with a real fire and winning — four in a row now, capped off by beating Golden State and snapping their 9-game win streak. Joe Johnson has been key to this resurgence and he had 27 against the Warriors, 10 in he fourth quarter. We’ll see how long it lasts but this is more what we expected out of the Nets this season.

source:  James Harden, Houston Rockets. The Beard makes the list not just for the 38 points he dropped on the Lakers, and not just for his 17 points in the third quarter when the Rockets blew this game wide open. He’s also here because he’s the first Rocket player to score 37 or more points in three straight games since Hakeem Olajuwon back in 94-95 (one of the Rockets’ title seasons).

source:  Indiana Pacers’ offense. They shot just 40 percent and put up 87 points against a fairly average Hawks defense, with an offensive rating of 89.7 points per 100 possessions. The problem is this hasn’t been a one-game thing — Indiana has an offensive rating of 92.7 points per 100 possessions in its last five games, which ranks 27th in the NBA in that span. As good as their defense is — and it’s very good — the offense needs to find a better groove in the second half of the season.

source:  LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers. In the first half (more than that, really) the Magic single-covered Aldridge to stay home on the Blazers’ shooters, and the result was a 14-point first quarter for Aldridge and 21 points by the break. Still, when Orlando switched strategies — double Aldridge, make outside shooters make their threes. That failed miserably. The Blazers took the lead and Aldridge came in late to seal it. He finished with 36 points.

  1. rickyspanish - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:26 AM

    That burrito vending machine is crazy! It scares me.

    • jcmeyer10 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      After all the noise it’s a heated up Evol burrito with Tobasco sauce of all things.

  2. davidly - Jan 9, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Indiana has an offensive rating of 92.7 points per 100 possessions in its last five games, which ranks 27th in the NBA in that span.

    And, yet, PBT–and ESPN and others–put them number one in the week’s power rankings (probably because nobody wanted to send Golden State a whole five places). They’re my team and all, but these offensive woes–while they fluctuate–are not going away. I hope they can get all the rotations flowing much better come May.

    Their elite defense effectively masks their pedestrian offense in terms of point differential, but also makes it look a little more productive when it feeds their confidence–a confidence which one can not count on the way one can sheer elite-level skill.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Jan 9, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    And the Celtics get a Moral Victory grade for last nights game. They were down by as many as 18 early in the game but clawed back.

    • cheathamhouse1 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Damn…it must take a while to get those old bones moving.

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