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Monday NBA grades: Pacers don’t even play and still get good marks

Apr 15, 2014, 5:03 AM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat Getty Images

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while thinking the French don’t really get the point of the smartphone…

source:  Indiana Pacers. They had the night off and are still winners. Early in the season their focus was getting the top seed in the East and make everyone come to them in the playoffs. Now with Miami’s loss to the Wizards Monday night the Pacers got their wish. They will have the best record in the East. Indiana has home court through the conference playoffs, which is huge for a Pacers team that is 35-6 at home but 20-20 on the road this season.

source:  Milwaukee Bucks. With their loss they have locked up the worst record in the NBA and with it they will have more ping pong balls (really random number combinations, but that’s not exciting to say) than any other team. Maybe the best news is they can’t fall farther than fourth in the lottery — no matter what happens they are going to add a quality player to a young core of Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Henson and Larry Sanders. The Bucks may be building something for the new owners coming to Milwaukee this summer.

source:  Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans. Coach Monty Williams didn’t want him to play because of a balky knee, even pulled him out of shootaround. Tyreke begged and it worked out pretty well — Evans took over the second half scoring 32 of his 41 on the night. He sparked the Pelicans to an upset win over the Thunder Monday. Evans also had 9 boards, 8 assists, 3 steals, and only one turnover. The Pelicans need more of that Evans next season.

source:  Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies. When he is scoring like this, and Memphis is grinding on defense like they did Monday night against the Suns, the Grizzlies are very hard to beat. Which is why nobody wants to face them in the first round. Randolph had 32 points on 15-of-25 shooting and he was doing his damage in close — he was 12-of-18 inside 8 feet. He was scoring around the rim because that is what Randolph does.

source:  Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves. He had 22 points… in the first quarter. He finished with 40 points and 14 rebounds. And the Timberwolves lost in spite of it. Again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

source:  Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers. I don’t know where Swaggy P will be playing next season (he is expected to opt out of his contract), but the guy has carved a niche out for himself with the Lakers. He has become vintage sixth man material, in sort of the same way J.R. Smith has been for the Knicks — he will come in off the bench firing. He’s going to miss more than he makes some nights, but on the nights he has got it going — as he did dropping 41 on the Jazz Monday — he is fun to watch. Even if his outbursts are hurting the Lakers’ lottery odds.

  1. nomad57 - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:58 AM

    Since Ty Evans has been starting, he has blossomed into a nice fit for the Pels. Now if someone could just take Eric Gordon.

  2. au1978 - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    I’d like to see the Rockets pick up Swaggy. We need some OFFENSE from the 2nd unit.

  3. shaner329 - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Watching K Love and Curry splashing 3s in the first was crazy. Thought for sure they’d end up with 60 points the way they were shooting last night.

  4. antistratfordian - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Home court advantage isn’t going to mean much to the Pacers in the playoffs with the way they’re playing. Their focus on it was misplaced anyway, since the reason they lost to Miami had nothing to do with where the games were being played.

  5. realfootballfan - Apr 15, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    It’s probably going to end up being a curse. The 1 seed has the tougher road if you ask me.

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