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Wednesday NBA grades: Love, Rubio play like they should stay together

Mar 20, 2014, 3:29 AM EDT

Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio AP

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while getting sucked into an oral history of Nirvana….

source:  Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves. In a matchup of two of the top power forwards in the game, Kevin Love outplayed Dirk Nowitzki for a night. Love had 35 points and the Timberwolves final six in overtime — he hit what would be the game winner then defended Dirk Nowitzki on his attempt to force a second OT. Love also played well off Ricky Rubio, in a way that makes you think they could be quite a pair together… if Love is going to stick around past 2015. Which I wouldn’t bet on.

source:  Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves. Rick Adelman will sit Ricky Rubio at times late in games. Not Wednesday. Rubio was the best player on the court — he drove and scored or found cutters, he made good kick out passes and at the other end was making steals. Rubio was decisive with the ball. Adelman rode Rubio through the entire second half and in overtime, because coaches ride the players having an impact. Rubio was that guy on Wednesday and keyed the Minnesota win — 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting (including two free throws to tie it in regulation), 15 assists, 10 rebounds, and 4 steals.

source:  Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks. Mike Woodson did nothing to show new boss Phil Jackson why Woodson should hang on to his job as coach — the Knicks were isolation heavy in this game. Anthony thrived in that setting, scoring 34 points on 12-of-23 shooting. The Pacers don’t like to double but eventually they did and Anthony adjusted, sometimes by shooting quickly other times by making the smart pass out. Anthony showed Jackson exactly why Phil would want to keep him around.

source:  Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics. There were three keys to the Celtics beating the Heat for the second time this season. One was LeBron James was out for Miami. Another was that Avery Bradley and the rest of the Celtics were putting on a shooting show that likely impressed even Ray Allen — Boston was 13-of-28 from three. But the big one was Rajon Rondo, who late in the game just owned the Heat defense and did what he wanted, Rondo battled through foul trouble to put up 9 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists (six of those 9 points came in the fourth quarter). He was impressive.

  1. balfe13 - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:54 AM

    Well, Carmelo was definitely not 12 for 36. But good effort; it’s not like relaying accurate stats is your job or anything.

    • retxedfred - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:44 AM

      Yeah. One would wonder how he got an A while shooting 33% on 36 shots.

      • savvybynature - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        Yeah that was exactly what I was wondering, glad there are readers to point out the incessant errors in the comments section or I might actually be less informed for having read this site.

    • casualcommenter - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      It only bothers me a little when the writers here make grammatical and spelling errors.

      However, it bothers me a lot when they report inaccurate stats. A couple of months ago, a writer incorrectly identified which team won a game! It took me a couple of days to figure out why the playoff standings didn’t match what I thought they should be – I thought a team had won when they really lost.

    • larueski - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      Haha right, Melo was 12-23

  2. gmsingh123 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    Hm, no Miami Heat grade?

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      They were without LeBron. Take the best player off any team and you can’t read much if anything into the game.

      • gmsingh123 - Mar 21, 2014 at 8:35 AM

        So the Bulls are chopped liver? I don’t think so.

  3. davidly - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    The Zen Master’s first game as Prez and the Knicks take the lineal championship from the conference “frontrunner”… for however little that’s worth.

  4. cruzan80 - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    PBT needs to get writers who aren’t clearly nothing but a fans with a pulpit.

    Kurt clearly hates the Knicks. All negative reporting about them on this site come from him. The team just won their 7th game in a row against the team who for the majority of the season has been the best team in the league & is still one of the best teams in the league…yet he spends half of his piece criticizing Woodson’s coaching.

    I’m not saying Woodson now should be considered for coach of the year or anything ridiculous like that but there’s a whole lot more good that could’ve been included in that piece about what Woodson & the Knicks did last night.

    If he wants to critique coach so badly…why no mention of Spoalstra’s efforts against the Celtics??? No LeBron & they get beaten by the 23-46 Celtics???? Still with two of his prolific All-Stars in uniform…..what happened there??? No insight there???

    A little objectivity would be kinda cool for once that’s all.

  5. Jeff - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Pacers are fading fast. They were the first team to make the playoffs, and the way they’re playing they will be the first team eliminated.

  6. twinfan24 - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    A lot is made of Rubio not being a great jump shooter, and he isn’t. But, having watched more Wolves games this year, the thing that hurts him (and the team) more often is that he really struggles with layups at times. Not sure if he is expecting more contact and not getting it throws him off, but he misses a lot of layups. He seems like he can drive by most guys, but I think he doesn’t do it as often as he could because he doesn’t finish well enough. On the nights he is finishing well, he drives more, and he opens things up for the other guys on the team as well.

    • redbullenergydrink - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      I’ve noticed the same. He does a great job getting past defenders but once he gets to the rim, he cannot finish the shot.

    • ranfan12 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      Better put it in work for the offseason. That’s a terrible asset to not have for a pg.

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