Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.
Philadelphia 76ersIf the Pacers are the surprising Eastrn team getting all the attention for their upgrades in the offseason, the Sixers are the team suprising based off the improvements of the core they've put together. The Sixers ground down the Pacers into dirt, forcing them into a 37 percent field goal percentage. Danny Granger was out with food poisoning and George Hill didn't play, but the Sixers have won five straight. Mostly on account of...
Thaddeus Young for the baseline J. He then did the exact same thing from the left side wing, bouncing all the way to the far side, and dishing to Jodie Meeks for three. Then with the game still marginally in doubt, Iguodla posted his man and hit a turnaround jumper for the dagger. Iguodala is doing everything he has done the past few years, and more. And he's doing all of those things better than ever.
The Raptors took down a dangerous Timberwolves team Monday night the way you would expect. Defense and dominating play from Andrea Bargnani. Wait, what? The impressive turnaround continues in Toronto. Bargnani had nine rebounds, and was unstoppable on offense. Meanwhile, Ed David made key plays and the Raptors shut off the lane to contain Ricky Rubio and the smooth
New York Knicks
The Bobcats are a decent team, it's not about that. I's that the Knicks continue to be unable to put together long stretches of cohesive play on either side of the ball. Needing D.J. Augustin to miss a wide-open three that would tie is just not a big confidence-getter at home. Still, they hung in there and got the win, so that's good enough for a passing grade.
New Jersey Nets
The Nets get an F for their first quarter, again, and then a C for the rest of the game. They keep battling back but the Nets put themselves in deep holes way too much. You get the feeling that teams are basically pummeling the Knicks early, then taking their foot off the pedal and letting the Nets hang. Good on the Nets for not giving up, but in terms of getting the most out of limited options, Avery Johnson hasn't done a great job this season.
For reasons unknown to man, Lawrence Fank keeps playing veterans, all of whom shoot more than Greg Monroe, their best player, and having Ben Gordon play point. And that worked against the Bulls about as well as you would expect. The Pistons turned the ball over on eight out of ten possessions at one point, and repeatedly keep going to offense that isn't centered to their strengths. It's time for a youth movement in Detroit, and the results be damned. Losing anyway.