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Wednesday night NBA grades: Dwight Howard looks like guy Rockets thought they signed

Feb 6, 2014, 3:58 AM EDT

Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while wondering why anyone would live in a dumpster for a year, voluntarily

source:   Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets. The NBA game is in large part about exploiting mismatches. With all due respect to the solid season Miles Plumlee is having, him trying to cover Dwight Howard is a mismatch. One the Rockets went to again and again. Howard finished the night with 34 points on 11-of-17 shooting (plus he was 12-of-18 from the free throw line) and he had 14 rebounds. The Rockets struggled with the Suns this season in previous meetings, but they just pounded the Suns with the big guy Wednesday and he delivered.

source:   Jeff Green, Boston Celtics. Aggressive, attacking Jeff Green poked his head up Wednesday, which I think means six more weeks of winter. But when you get a sighting of Green when he is on you see one of the better scorers in the game. Sure, a night like this likely means he goes into hibernation for another week, but the Celtics don’t get the win over the Sixers without him. Green had 36 points on 11-of-18 shooting, plus he had eight rebounds. Nice of him to put on a little showcase game like this before the trade deadline.

source:   The Cleveland Cavaliers. What. A Tire. Fire. If you lose to a team that has dropped seven games in a row, is on the second night of a back-to-back and by the end of the game had only four eligible players left on the court, you have SERIOUS issues. It isn’t just one thing, it’s everything — management, coach, star players, role players, locker room attitudes, offense, defense, pretty much everyone and everything.

source:  Steve Blake, Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, if you get a triple double on the Cavaliers “defense” it still counts. In his second game back from injury Blake had 11 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds. Plus, he had a key three late when the game was still in doubt. He may be the best point guard the Lakers have on the roster now.

source:   Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs. Tony Parker didn’t play after halftime for San Antonio due to a sore back. With the game close in the fourth quarter and first overtime, the Spurs were looking someone to step up with big plays, and Mills was that guy — he had 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and overtimes of the Spurs win. He was the guy knocking down the big snots like it was no big deal. He had a quiet first half but was there when needed.

source:  Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers. When you talk about the best power forwards in the game — LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki (not a traditional four but still) — Griffin wants to be mentioned in that group. And nights like this with a gaudy stat line — 43 points 17 rebounds and 6 assists against the Miami Heat help that cause. He has played fantastic ball with Chris Paul out. But he gets a “B” here because even with all the highlights dunks and good plays he was still just 16-of-34 shooting overall and 14-of-25 inside eight feet. Good, but not quite great.

  1. theromeo2k - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:28 AM

    Blake Griffin, ladies and gentlemen, is quietly becoming a BEAST! That jumper looks great and still improving, his rebounding issues have disappeared, and the guy can pass it too. I mean, we’re seeing one of the most improved guys in the league this year.

  2. indrathegod - Feb 6, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    If Blake could consistently hit the 15-footer and learn how to attack immediately after receiving the pass on the weak side, he would force his name to be mentioned with folks like L.A. and K. Love.. He also needs to learn to toughen up and not complain so much, prove your point with over-powering the opposition every time down the floor. Make them regret it every time…..

    Regardless I still like his continued development.

    • shuttaman1990 - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      Oh yeah he should learn to stop flopping and stop being soft

      Lakers all day.

      • sportsfan18 - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        uh, he’s ON the Lakers and he’s doing what they “teach” him to do you know.

    • sportsfan18 - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:35 PM


      You said “If Blake could consistently hit the 15-footer…” and then you continued on with “and learn how to attack immediately after…”

      Blake is 33 yrs old, in his 11th season. He’s got a few more seasons left in the league.

      He isn’t 22, 23, 25 or even 28 yrs old anymore.

      Yes, I know some players do learn and work on their games later in their careers, but those are the exceptions. Many do work on their games when they’re young, after coming to the realization that the league is tougher than they thought.

      But MOST in their 11th seasons and around 33 yrs of age are playing out the clock in their careers…

      • limonadamas - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        Dude… he’s OBVIOUSLY talking about Blake Griffin, not Steve Blake. Why would he compare Steve Blake to KLove and Lamarcus Aldridge? =)

  3. bucrightoff - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Nice to see Patty Mills is becoming more recognized for his play and less for his awesome towel abilities on the bench.

  4. Professor Fate - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    We won’t mention that Patty Mills “was the guy knocking down the big snots like it was no big deal.” Hope he used a hankie.

  5. kb2408 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Yeah….that is until D12 faces teams with a legit center. I don’t recall him doing it against D. Cousins. Kendrick Perkins isn’t exactly Ewing but he gives Dwight fits. Dwight is the neighborhood bully…you only picks in those smaller and weaker than he is.

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