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Monday NBA grades: Tyreke Evans has found the beat in New Orleans

Mar 25, 2014, 1:55 AM EDT

Miami Heat v New Orleans Pelicans Getty Images

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while watching the Mad Men season 7 trailer…. 

source:   Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans. When the roster was full and they asked him to come off the bench earlier this season, Evans struggled to find a comfort level with the Pelicans. It wasn’t pretty But with the roster thinned by injury and him moved into a starting role he has looked good. Against the Nets he had a ridiculous line of 33 points on 19 shots, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Yes, he also turned the ball over 7 times, but we’ll forgive that. What the Pelicans learned over this long season is that Evans is better in the starting role for them than Eric Gordon.

source:   LeBron James, Miami Heat. At this point in the season this is the LeBron James Miami needs just about every night. Especially on nights like this web the Dwyane Wade is on the knee maintenance program. The normal “pass first and let the game come to me” LeBron start was gone as he had 15 first half shots. He finished the night with 32 points on 23 shots. LeBron had a couple late turnovers (one of them an offensive foul trying to drive on Damian Lillard) but made up for it with this.

source:   Indiana Pacers offense. Yes, the Chicago Bulls defense is very good (and with the win Chicago moves into a virtual tie for the three seed). However, if you fancy yourself a contender who wants to play grinding, defensive basketball then you have to score in the half court. Indiana cannot. Paul George was 8-of-22 and played without purpose. Roy Hibbert was 0-of-5 and just took up space. David West was 4-of-12 shooting. Lance Stephenson was 3-of-9 and didn’t record one assists. The only good thing in the Pacers future is that they also will get the first round of the playoffs to figure out what is wrong.

source:  Austin Daye, San Antonio Spurs. Nobody saw this breakout coming — he had 22 points and 6 boards, he was knocking down open looks, he played within himself, and it is the second game in a row he has looked good. In Toronto this season Daye was 0-of-8 from three, in San Antonio he is 8-of-12. So, to recap, the Spurs picked up another guy no other team knew what to do with and have him looking good in their system. Shocking. Daye will probably have a big playoff game or two.

source:  Philadelphia 76ers. Ugh. That’s 25 straight losses. The NBA record is 26 and they can equal it Thursday night against the Rockets. They pretty much will. And then Sixers fans will rejoice as they are all on board with the tanking.

source:  Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons. This is what everyone hoped the future would look like in Detroit (in the pre Josh Smith era). Drummond was a beast inside on offense and finished with 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting plus had 14 boards. Monroe finished inside, knocked down midrange jumpers and ended the night with 18 points and 11 boards. When those two are paired there are defensive issues, but there is potential.

  1. mitchem85 - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:14 AM

    “Especially on nights like this web the Dwyane Wade is on the knee maintenance program.”

    Uhhhh, what?!?! No, seriously… Wtf?

    • spursareold - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      What part of Miami resting him regularly to preserve his creaky knee are you failing to understand?

      • pudgalvin - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        People have made it their personal mission in life to come to this blog, read every line every day, and point out spelling errors. They find it gives them purpose in life.

      • casualcommenter - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        He’s making fun of how “web the Dwyane Wade” should probably be replaced by “when Dwyane Wade.”

  2. Jeff - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:29 AM

    D wasn’t low enough for the Pacers. Should be an F.
    The Pacers will be lucky to make it out of the first round.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      The Pacers are having a very rough patch, but the Heat have failed to take advantage – last night they almost blew a game they had locked up. The win is nice but how they got it is worrisome. Can anybody remember another season when the two top teams in a conference both had such slumps as these when they should have been headed toward playoff form?

      • casualcommenter - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        The Celtics the final couple of years under Doc Rivers tended to limp into the playoffs (in large part due to their decision to intentionally limit the minutes of their best players) before overachieving in the playoffs (once their best players played 40 minutes per game again).

        However, they weren’t in contention for the #1 seed at that point. I can sort of understand the Heat losing interest/steam this late, but the Pacers were quite open and honest in how much their valued seeding early in the year, so I don’t understand their slump.

  3. jbeagles23 - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    And people said Roy hibbert was a force in this league. He is tall but that’s it.

    • pudgalvin - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      I think it’s that there are so few other good true centers in the league. He looks like Wilt Chamberlain playing against the Heat’s front line, but the other legit centers give him loads of trouble. 3 of 15 with 15 points and 16 rebounds in the last two games vs. Noah. 3 rebounds the other night vs. Chandler, though he did have a nice night scoring. 9 points, 3 rebounds a couple weeks back against Howard and the Rockets. Those are some rough numbers against the other good big guys.

      • casualcommenter - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        Strongly agree with this. People tend to heavily weight playoff performances, and Hibbert has had some monster performances in the playoffs against the very prominent Miami Heat. Even when he’s not scoring, the Heat’s offense has generally done much worse with him on the floor because he dissuades paint attacks by LeBron and Wade.

        However, in the regular season and against most opponents, he’s a 11 pts-7 rbs per game guy who does a good job of altering shots with his length.

    • bhunter1995 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:16 AM

      It annoys me when half assed fans tell me that Hibbert is as good or better then Cousins, D12 or Noah. Hibbert has a bad post game, even worse then Dwights (although Dwight makes up for it with speed/athleticism). Hibbert is a great shot blocker but not in the same way that D12 and Davis are (coming out of nowhere from the weakside and blocking from behind or the side) Hibbert is just big as hell and takes up space. He doesn’t board nearly as well as he should for his size and strength, the guy has never even averaged a double double. Hibbert is, frankly a stiff, low offensive production and mobility offset by massive size. I’m not saying he sucks, he defends the rim well and is a solid rebounder who has flashes of skill on offense but for the most part he is only one step up from the average starting center.

  4. gmsingh123 - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    How about an “A” for Taj Gibson? Has he locked the sixth man of the year award yet? If you’re going to rank the Bulls high on the power rankings it only makes sense that you give them credit for a good beat down of Indiana.

  5. xfactor123 - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    How about an “A” for Taj Gibson? Is he a lock for the Sixth Man of the Year award, or what?

  6. alshonsmeathooks - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    Noah > Hibbert

  7. naterich21 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    I honestly forgot that Eric Gordon existed.

    • money2long - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    • redstar504 - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      He shouldn’t, I don’t really mean that but he is just taking cash every game. His days are numbered with Rivers’ play improving and Evans stepping up and Holiday back next season there is no way he ever sees the light of day unless he figures a way to play small forward (not happening with Anderson).

  8. bucrightoff - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Just remember, no matter how much the Sixers try, the Bucks still are worse somehow.

  9. pudgalvin - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    How bout a little love for Taj Gibson? 23 and 8 last night off the bench while shutting down David West. His numbers this year are across the board career highs and he’s made any reservations about getting rid of Boozer and missing his offense a complete non issue.

  10. spursareold - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Spurs all Daye!!!

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