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Tuesday NBA grades: Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant in a duel

Mar 26, 2014, 2:53 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while breaking down the science of the three point shot

source:  Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks. It wasn’t perfect — he had 6 turnovers and shot 2-of-8 from three. But when they needed him vintage Dirk Nowitzki showed up for Dallas scoring 7 of his team-high 32 points in overtime to help lead the Mavs to a key win (with it they move back into the eight playoff spot in the West… for now). Nowitzki shot 11-of-23 and also pulled down 10 rebounds, but it was the patented turn-around jumper then a three in overtime that we all will remember. Dallas is going to need more of this Dirk down the stretch if they are going to make the playoffs.

source:  Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder. That was the performance of an MVP — 43 points on 15-of-27 shooting, including a key three that might have been the game winner of the Thunder could grab a defensive rebound. Most impressive is those shots are not forced, when the smart basketball play is to move the ball he moves it (and five other Thunder players were in double figures). He’s the MVP this season because he’s played like this more consistently than LeBron James.

source:   New York Knicks. That was the last nail in their playoff coffin. Specifically, the third quarter when the Lakers put up 51 — you read that right, 51 in a quarter, on 19-of-26 shooting. This is a Knicks team playing the weakest link they will see in a five game West Coast road trip, a trip where they needed to go 4-1 to have a shot at catching the Hawks (who have a much softer schedule the rest of the way) and they just don’t give a %$*# when they come out for the second half. Glad Phil Jackson got to see this one in person, just so he knows how much work is ahead of him.

source:   Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic. The Bucks have a potentially fun young front line, but don’t you think they could have used this guy in that mix? Harris had 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Magic showed pretty much anyone can beat the struggling Portland Trail Blazers (it’s going to take more than the return of LaMarcus Aldridge to turn that ship around, but that’s another story). Harris was a matchup nightmare for the Blazers as he was knocking down jumpers and was putting it on the floor and getting to the rim.

  1. jbeagles23 - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Haha the Knicks are a joke. Good luck Phil

  2. bucrightoff - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Knicks are a catastrophe, to put it lightly.

  3. penvik - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Kevin Durant has passed Lebron James as the best player. If he was ever behind him? I’m starting to think it’s not even close. Durant doing things that haven’t been done since Jordan. That’s how you become the best. Do what Jordan did, are you listening Lebron. One good 60 point game this year and a bunch of 20 something point games. Durant puts up 30+ consistently.

  4. shuttaman1990 - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Knicks ain’t crap.
    Lakers all day.
    Phil wont save these chumps.
    Kiss our rings.

  5. bougin89 - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    ” Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic. The Bucks have a potentially fun young front line, but don’t you think they could have used this guy in that mix?”

    Yeah, the half season of JJ Reddick and a couple 2nd round picks probably wasn’t worth trading him, to put it mildly. It was a head scratching trade at the time. I can only conclude they made that trade minutes before the deadline because they thought the Josh Smith trade was going through as well and they were “all in”. Luckily for the few Bucks fans left they didn’t give in and agree to include Henson in a trade for Smith. I guess we’re lucky(lucky?) that didn’t happen too?

  6. Professor Fate - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    I guess the Knicks came out and earned that “F” all by themselves. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the Lakers, just the Knicks’ players wanting to show their new boss that they don’t want to stay with the team.

    Yes. it’s good Jackson saw that game in person. I’m sure it was the first Knicks’ game he’s seen this year.

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