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Monday NBA grades: Celebrating the beautiful game of the Spurs

Apr 1, 2014, 3:01 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Indiana Pacers Getty Images

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while drinking at the 20 best college bars in America (allegedly)….

source:  San Antonio Spurs. Take a step back and marvel at this team. No, not the 18 wins in a row after they beat the Pacers Monday, or at least not just that. Rather, marvel at the precision with which this team plays the game — if you are a fan of basketball you need to appreciate the Spurs. Their ability to recognize something simple — that Tim Duncan has sealed Roy Hibbert and with two quick passes they can get him a layup (and they did, Tony Parker passed from the wing to Boris Diaw at the elbow, who hit Duncan) is a thing of beauty. They play to their strengths. They move the ball and move off the ball. When they set a screen they get a piece of the defender then roll or pop. They are selfless and as Gregg Popovich has instructed they give up a good shot for a great one. In a couple years they are going to break this team up and we will all be the worse for it.

source:   Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs. This shoutout isn’t for a vintage Duncan performance (9 points on 10 shots is not impressive, although his defense on Roy Hibbert). However, with a dunk in the game he passed Patrick Ewing for 19th on the NBA’s all-time point scoring list.

source:   LeBron James, Miami Heat. Miami moved into first place in the East with a win over the Raptors in the kind of game we have see too much of from the Heat this season: No Dwyane Wade. No Ray Allen. No Greg Oden. No Michael Beasley. No Shane Battier. So LeBron took over and scored 32 points, pulled down7 rebounds and had 8 assists. With that the Heat beat the Raptors 93-83 and moved percentage points ahead of the reeling Pacers.

source:   DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings. No doubt Anthony Davis is one of the up and coming stars of the NBA, a 21-year-old with a great future ahead of him. DeMarcus Cousins completely outplayed him. In a “you guys should have picked me for the All-Star Game not him” kind of way. Cousins had 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting, 14 rebounds, three assists, two blocks. He seemed to be everywhere, he was physical and he took control of the game at points. Impressive performance.

source:   Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks. This is what the Knicks need out of ‘Melo at this point. You knew the Hawks were going to pick up a win against the Sixers (what, you expected a Philly winning streak?) and the Knicks couldn’t afford to lose ground. Doesn’t matter if it’s the second night of a back-to-back, the fifth game in 7 days, New York had to win. They did, thanks to two things: 1) Utah is a terrible basketball team; 2) Carmelo Anthony. Utah had nobody who could begin to contain him and so ‘Melo torched his defenders for 34 points, eight rebounds and three assists. The next highest scoring Knick was Tyson Chandler with 15. Great job by Anthony putting the team on his shoulders.


  1. slystone111 - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:11 AM

    LeBron James: Bricked five threes, couldn’t be bothered to collect a single offensive board, coughed the ball up SIX times. PBT grade: A, of course, as per usual.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:22 AM

      James played a marvelous game despite the turnovers. 2 of those 5 threes were heaves at the buzzer, btw.

    • apkyletexas - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      Can’t blame James for winning without the other star players except Bosh.

      Too bad – this roster looks a lot like one of his Cavalier rosters. Got to think he’s seriously itching to take his talents away from South Beach this summer.

    • apkyletexas - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      And I don’t think James is being put in position to grab a lot of offensive rebounds. That’s usually the garbage area that your non-shooting teammates are supposed to be covering. When you are the primary shooter in most sets, your offensive rebound chances will probably be a lot lower.

  2. tuberippin - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:28 AM

    The West will be a lot different when Tim Duncan calls it a career.

    • gameisours - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:37 AM

      What, you don’t really mean that he will stop? 😦

  3. ggallin4evr - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:58 AM

    B+ for John Battle from the Cavs.

  4. seattlesuperchronic - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:59 AM

    The Kings need to get Cousins some help! This guy is amazing. I’m thinking Sacramento will be good in a few years, that town deserves it after those dirty Maloofs stunk up the joint.

    • spursareold - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      A good shrink would probably do wonders for his game.

  5. bucrightoff - Apr 1, 2014 at 6:11 AM

    The Spurs have more 20+ point wins in this streak (6) than they do wins by less than 10 points (5). Not even really being challenged right now.

  6. rodge1 - Apr 1, 2014 at 6:51 AM

    Gotta love the bandwagon Spurs’ fan.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      Maybe you do but I sure as hell don’t.

  7. davidly - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    It’d be easy to say that the Spurs were shooting fish in a barrel last night, what with the even-for-the-Pacers dismal outings of late, but the way they put them away in the fourth after Indiana got it down to single digits a couple of times was simply brutal.

    • southbeachtalent - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      They simply look unstoppable right now.

  8. ripjvh1009 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Umm, Bulls anyone?


    I forgot, they don’t really have any superstars worth (in the eyes of most sports people) mentioning. Just good old boring TEAM basketball. As a Bulls fan who loves the way they play it sucks that they’ll likely get eliminated by the Heat or the Pacers but it’s been fun to watch.

    • brookwell2013 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      The Bulls are team NO ONE wants to play in the playoffs….we all know they can’t win it all but, man, they are gonna be a tough out and the team that puts them away will suffer for it in the following round….

      • casualcommenter - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        The Heat put them away last year in 6 games in a hardfought 2nd round series, and the Heat went on to win the championship.

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