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Wednesday NBA grades: The Indiana Pacers we remember reappeared

Mar 27, 2014, 3:33 AM EDT

Roy Hibbert AP

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while hating on the idea of Monopoly “house rules”….

source:  Indiana Pacers. It wasn’t pretty, but what mattered was the fight in the team. And the win over Miami, but more than that the fight it took from them to get there. Indiana had been slogging through the season, Roy Hibbert had seemed on a mental walkabout, Paul George looked tired — and in one game a lot of it changed. Hibbert went right at Greg Oden early and scored 11 in the first quarter, setting the tone. Paul George looked like himself again. David West was making plays. The defense was back. There was fight in the team again (a little too much in Lance Stephenson). This is closer to the team that looked like the best team in the NBA for long stretches earlier this season. Good of them to wake up in time for the playoffs.

source:  LeBron James, Miami Heat. This loss wasn’t on him — he scored 46 percent of his team’s points (38 points, and that figure doesn’t count the five assists), he was setting guys up, he was making plays. This was an aggressive LeBron, which is why he got to the line so often (even though he didn’t deserve all those calls, if you’re the aggressor in the NBA you get the referee’s whistle in your favor). Ask Hibbert about how aggressive LeBron was. Question is will he get more help come the postseason?

source:  Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks. Tuesday night the Knicks sleepwalked through a game against the Lakers and lost. They showed up in Sacramento Wednesday and played with some urgency as a team, and has he has done all season Anthony led them, scoring. Most importantly he was 5-8 from three — the Knicks as a team were 15-of-26 from three, that was the difference in their game. J.R. Smith had a huge game also, scoring 29 points and hitting of 9-of-12. The Knicks built up a 24 point lead hitting threes, and when the Kings came back it was the threes that kept New York on top.

source:  Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats. Brooklyn had no answer for Jefferson. None. Jefferson had 35 points on 15-of-27 shooting, picking apart the Nets double teams all night long by either making a quick move before the double got there or making the right pass out of it. The non-Brook Lopez version of the Nets can’t defend the post, they are about disruption and if you can get the ball on the block you can hurt them. Someone will in the playoffs. But Wednesday it was just Jefferson.

source:  Darius Miller, New Orleans Pelicans. If you just asked “who?” know that the Clippers were pretty much doing the same thing, but he was the guy hitting big jumpers late (he finished with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting) to lift the Pelicans over the Clippers. New Orleans has won three in a row and Miami and the Clippers are two of those — well done Pelicans. Well done indeed.

  1. rationalfootballfan - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    No love for Tim Duncan? Damn. The guy’s a relic and dropped 29/13/5/2 including 10 of SA’s last 11

  2. nickjackalson - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:04 AM


  3. whoisrdymlz - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    Ask Paul Pierce if he thinks Brook Lopez could’ve done anything to stop Al Jefferson.

  4. edwardemanuelson - Mar 27, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    Meanwhile, the Spurs – despite a surge from the Nuggets in the 4th – won their 15th in a row last night.

    :: crickets ::

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:09 AM

      The Spurs are the best & classiest organization over the last 15 years. No surprise they’ve won 15 in a row, therefore no story.

    • bucrightoff - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      Not only that, the incomparable Tim Duncan puts up 29pts, 13rebs, 5ast, 2blks, 2stl and nary a mention.

    • dynasonic - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      Too bad the Nuggets weren’t the 2nd best team in the West then the game would have gotten as much pub as the two best teams in the East. Yes the Spurs are awesome… but no way should this game have gotten as much pub.

  5. timb12 - Mar 27, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    I thought Lebron disappeared in the 4th quarter? Didn’t he only have like 3 points and 3 turnovers in the last 10 minutes or something? He definitely kept them in it, but he ran out of gas or something.

    • xfactor123 - Mar 27, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      That wouldn’t happen to MJ.

  6. jbeagles23 - Mar 27, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    It’s cause Tim Duncan is a hof’er and he’s been doing in for years. It’s more of a respect thing than slap in the face. If we had to grade him then 90 percent of the time it would be an a with comments that say “see last 15 years”

  7. unxpexted1 - Mar 27, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Seriously, Al Jeffereson is in my top 5 for MVP candidates. He’s having a phenomenal year.

  8. poundtherock - Mar 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    DeMarcus Cousins – 32 points. 15 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks. The guy is the best center in the league and most people don’t even know about him.

  9. jlane91234 - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    c’mon how can you not throw Gorgui Dieng in there! He had another huge night in the place of Pekovic! There is not any rookie big man playing better than him.

  10. mycm1127 - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Pelicans have won 4 in a row not 3

    • dynasonic - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Well… I mean technically if they have won 4 in a row… they have also won 3 in a row. 😉

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