Boeheim exposes Carmelo’s poor grades in new book

Not chill, Coach.

      
 

 

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Serbia vs Spain FIBA World Cup 2014: Game Grades, Analysis for Orlovi vs La Roja

Serbia hung in the best they could against the undefeated Spaniards through much of the game, but Spain’s dominance on both ends was enough to defeat the Serbs, 89-73, to wrap up the group phase. 

It was a chippy game towards the end, with Serbian coach Sasha Djordjevic being ejected after being assessed his second technical foul in the fourth. Referees and players from both sides got into it, but all parties seemed cordial by the final buzzer.

On the floor, Spain put on a clinic through most of the way, playing their aesthetically pleasing brand of high-pace, wide-open basketball while featuring their glut of NBA big men whenever possible. Serbia did its best to compete, and did so valiantly. But the Spanish talent won out, and it was evident in the final score.

 

Serbia Grades:

Bogdan BogdanovicB

Stefan MarkovicC-

Milos Teodosic: C

Miroslav Raduljica: B

Nemanja Bjelica: A-

Rest of Team: D

 

Spain Grades:

Ricky Rubio: A-

Pau Gasol: A-

Marc Gasol: A

Serge Ibaka: B-

Juan Carlos Navarro: B+

Rest of Team: B+

 

Bogdan BogdanovicB

Just 22, it’s clear to see why Bogdan Bogdanovic was drafted in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft. The 6’6″ guard finished up with eight points, two rebounds and four assists on three-of-seven shooting. He made a pair of threes and helped keep Serbia within striking distance through most of the first half. 

His four dimes led the team, and he was one of the only Serbian players capable of creating offense for himself. He launched five threes over his 24 minutes, and he was visibly forcing some shots as the Spain lead ballooned. The individual skills are clearly there for Bogdanovic, who currently plays for Fenerbahce Ulker, but Serbia just doesn’t have enough talent to compete with a team like Spain.

 

Stefan Markovic: C-

Stefan Markovic did a decent job of setting teammates up most of the way, but either the Spain front line was able to gobble up any close attempts, or Serbs just weren’t able to convert. By the time he started forcing action once the Spain lead inflated, he did more harm than good.

He connected on two of his four shots for four points and rounded out the score sheet with three assists and two rebounds. Markovic had a good feel for his teammates most of the way, but Spain’s intensity on both ends was just too much to handle. He became sloppy as the game went on and the pressure mounted, resulting in a pair of turnovers and a team-worst minus-23 plus-minus rating.

 

Milos Teodosic: C

Averaging 11 points and five assists going into Thursday’s game, Milos Teodosic has been a good all-around contributor thus far for the Serbs. But with the active Spain defense blowing most plays up before they can even start, Teodosic‘s impact was minimal. 

He struggled shooting, going four-of-eight from the field, draining two of his five three-pointers. He racked up a pair of assists but turned the ball over just as many times. With Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon and Juan Carlos Navarro on fire in the backcourt all game long, Teodosic clearly lost the head-to-head battle Thursday.

 

Miroslav Raduljica: B

With 14.5 points on average entering Thursday, Miroslav Radjulica was Serbia’s leading scorer. The seven-footer put up 13 points and four rebounds Thursday, though Spain’s versatile talent’s near the rim made Raduljica pay time after time on both ends of the floor. 

The Serbian team neglected the inside game much of the way, and finally began featuring him towards the end of the third quarter. By then, of course, it was too late. He was active in the screen game, but whatever impact he may have had against an inferior opponent was wiped out by the Gasols and other Spanish bigs.

 

Nemanja Bjelica: A-

As dominant as Spain was, they let Nemanja Bjelica slip through the cracks through most of the game. He finished the game leading Serbia in points and rebounds with 19 and 10, respectively. 

The 6’10″ forward made six of his 14 shots, and was a rare Serbian to find success inside the arc.

 

Rest of Team: D

Serbia has plenty of size on their bench, but nobody was quite able to contend with Spain’s dominance down low. Nikola Kalinic was extremely ineffective over his 12 minutes, scoring just one point while grabbing two rebounds and turning it over once. Vladimir Stimac didn’t get a chance until the waning moments of the third, but looked effective over his nine minutes. He shot three-of-six from in close for six points and grabbed three boards. Serbia was plus-seven with him on the floor in the second half.

 

 

Ricky Rubio: A-

In his 101st career game for the Spanish national team, Ricky Rubio played like a veteran despite his still-raw age of 23. He produced 12 points of his own—including an uncontested 15-footer in the first half to begin to bury Serbia. His six assists led the team, as did his plus-33 plus-minus rating. 

He worked well with the bigs, featuring both Gasol brothers early and often, and constantly kicked out to his guard peers in transition. Rubio is still searching for his niche in the NBA, but he’s one of the best point guards to suit up in international play today.

The most surprising part of his game Thursday was that he received a technical foul late in the fourth. He’s gotten T’d up just six times over his three NBA years.

 

Pau Gasol: A-

Pau Gasol ended with the most offensive output for Spain, going for 20 points on six-of-11 shooting, including a perfect eight-of-eight from the line. Rubio was able to find him in his favorite spots, and when he was challenged by Raduljica or other Serbian bigs, he was quick enough to simply beat them to the rim. 

He only grabbed four rebounds and had one assist, but with the way he was excelling with the ball, and with the way his teammates were performing around him, Gasol provided Spain with all they needed from him. 

 

Marc Gasol: A

With his brother beside him in the paint, and several creating guards along the perimeter, Marc Gasol thrived from start to finish. He finished shooting five-of-six, going for 11 points and leading the team with eight rebounds. He had two assists and even drilled an impressive three-pointer when Spain were making their early, energizing push in the first quarter.

Along with his brother, the team’s guards were able to find him in spots to thrive, and the Serbian bigs stood no match. The one-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year had no problem handling them on the other end, either, and swatted a block along the way.

 

Serge Ibaka: B-

Ibaka wasn’t featured as much as the rest of the team’s NBA bigs, but the 24-year-old still finished with four rebounds and a block, though he wasn’t much of a factor offensively. His most noticeable offensive glimpse came in the second half when he clumsily pulled up for a transition three on the wing. It ended with a rebound that clanked out to nearly mid-court. Spain was actually minus-nine with him on the floor.

 

Juan Carlos Navarro: B+

 

The one-time NBAer finished as the second-leading scorer for Spain with 15, and connected on five of his seven attempts, including three of his four three-pointers. He handed out a pair of assists and pulled down two rebounds on the defensive end. Rubio had no problem finding him in transition, and he fit right into the fast-paced, wide-open Spanish attack.

 

Rest of Team: B+

Jose Calderon and Rudy Fernandez both contributed positively for Spain. They combined for 17 points, two assists and two rebounds, with Fernandez thriving in the fast break. With Rubio playing so well, Calderon wasn’t relied on for much through the first three quarters. Sergio Llull played plenty of minutes but didn’t fair particularly well with the ball, shooting 2-of-7. 

Sergio Rodriguez, one-time NBA point guard and reigning Euroleague MVP, finished with two points and an assist over 15 minutes without a field goal.

 

Coming Up Next:

With group play finished up, Spain has finished first and Serbia fourth in Group A. Both teams move onto Madrid to play in the Round of 16. Serbia will take on Greece while Spain will face Senegal.

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Argentina vs Philippines FIBA World Cup: Grades for Argentina & Gilas Pilipinas

In a fast-paced game that came down to the wire, Argentina (2-1) defeated the Philippines (0-3) by a final score of 85-81 on Day 3 of FIBA World Cup.

Gilas Pilipinas came out of the gate hot, winning the first quarter 25-22 and knocking Andray Blatche out of the game with foul trouble.

Argentina seemed to gain control of the game in the second and third quarters, before having to hold off a late surge in the fourth.

Luis Scola led Argentina with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Marcos Mata pitched in 17 points, while shooting 5-of-7 from three-point range.

Gilas Pilipinas was led by Ranidel De Ocampo‘s 18 points.

 

Argentina Grades:

Luis Scola: A
Andres Nocioni: C-
Pablo Prigioni: C
Walter Herrman: B-
Rest of Team: B

Gilas Pilipinas Grades:

Andray Blatche: A
Ranidel De Ocampo: A
Jason William Castro: C+
Jim Alapag: A
Rest of Team: B

 

Luis Scola: A

Scola had to leave the game early with a bit of foul, but responded with his typically crafty inside game after returning to action.

He scored with a variety of hooks and scoops off post-ups and cuts, and even extended his game out to three-point range in the second half, going 1-of-2 from deep.

He’s one of the most skilled offensive players in the tournament and the Filipino defenders had no answer for him.

Andres Nocioni: C-

Andres Nocioni didn’t have huge numbers in the box score, but his play against the Philippines best player, Andray Blatche, made an impact.

Nocioni’s physical defense clearly rattled Blatche, who found himself complaining to the refs after just about every possession in which the two were matched up.

He also knocked down three huge free throws in the final minute despite being in the middle of an otherwise terrible shooting performance.

So he may have finished the game with just nine points on 2-of-10 shooting, but he still contributed to the win.

Pablo Prigioni: C

Pablo Prigioni has a reputation for not just being a pass-first, but a pass-always point guard in the NBA. So it was a bit surprising to see him put up nine shots.

He only made two shots, but both were threes. He finished with eight points and also pitched in three assists and three steals while playing his typically solid floor general game. 

Walter Herrman: B-

With Scola in foul trouble and the opposition on fire, Walter Herrman was the Argentinian player who stepped up early.

Everything was going the Philippines’ way in the first quarter, but a timely three and a nice fadeaway on the baseline from Herrman kept Argentina just close enough. By the time Scola checked back in, they were able to make a run.

Herrman finished with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting to go with five rebounds.

Rest of Team: B

The names above are the ones known by NBA fans, but Argentina’s best player was Marcos Mata, who scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds while shooting 6-of-10 from the field.

Facundo Campazzo played a solid floor game as a second guard with Prigioni, scoring nine points and dishing out four assists.

And Nicolas Laprovittola was one of four Argentinians in double figures, with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting.

 

Andray Blatche: A

Even after sitting the majority of the first half with foul trouble, Blatche was a dominant force inside as the Philippines’ only real big man.

He finished the game with 15 rebounds and 14 points, which was a relatively tame line considering he entered the game averaging 24.5 points for the tournament.

Who knows what would’ve happened had Blatche been in the game when Argentina made its second-quarter run to take the lead.

Ranidel De Ocampo: A

With Blatche on the bench, Ranidel De Ocampo provided much of the offense that kept the Philippines right with Argentina.

His unconventional, one-armed three-point shot found its mark on 4-of-8 attempts on the way to his team-high point total.

Jason William Castro: C+

Jason William Castro looked ready to lead a charge in the first quarter, after hitting back-to-back threes to electrify the crowd in Seville, Spain.

Unfortunately, he did little else for the rest of the game. He wound up making just two more shots the rest of the game and finished 4-of-11 from the field for 11 points.

Jim Alapag: A

The fourth-quarter comeback that almost ended in victory for Gilas Pilipinas was spearheaded by Jim Alapag, who nailed 5-of-7 threes off the bench.

He was hitting from deep and off the dribble, lighting up the scoreboard and inspiring the crowd and his teammates. In the end, it just wasn’t enough. 

Rest of Team: B

No other players did much in terms of numbers for the Philippines, but Gabe Norwood made his presence felt with two huge dunks over Argentine defenders.

He finished the game with six points on 3-of-4 shooting.

 

Coming up next:

In another Group B clash, Argentina will now take on Greece Thursday. The Philippines will get another shot at their first win Wednesday against Puerto Rico.

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Spain vs. Egypt FIBA World Cup 2014: Game Grades, Analysis for La Roja, Pharaohs

Coming off a dominant performance against Iran, Spain showed once again why it’s a FIBA World Cup contender with a 91-54 win over Egypt on Day 2.

Not only did Spain have home-court advantage as host, it had an undeniable edge in size, quickness and just about every major statistical category.

The team jumped out to a 15-2 lead halfway through the first quarter, and while Egypt put together a much better second period, Spain was intent on dominating the entire second half.

 

Spain Grades

Pau Gasol: B

Marc Gasol: B+

Serge Ibaka: A

Rudy Fernandez: A-

Rest of Team: B+

 

Pau Gasol: B

Following Day 1 of the FIBA World Cup, Pau Gasol was the leading scorer and leading efficiency-per-game player of the entire tournament, according to FIBA.com.

Against Egypt, he wasn’t able to reproduce the production that earned him those accomplishments, but he shot well when given the opportunity, which is all Spain needed.

Finishing with 12 points, the new Chicago Bulls big man knocked down 63 percent of his shots. He only managed to grab three rebounds in more than 19 minutes, however, but we’ll give him a pass because his team won that category by 15.

 

Marc Gasol: B+

Marc Gasol entered this contest following a 15-point, 10-rebound performance against Iran. If we’re holding him to that standard, he didn’t have nearly as solid a showing as fans would have liked.

That said, the big man’s role was slightly reduced because of Serge Ibaka‘s return, and quite frankly, he did what he needed to do to intimidate Egypt’s interior players—something that won’t go in any box score. This won’t go down as a memorable performance, but there was nothing wrong with it, either.

 

Serge Ibaka: A

Before the contest began, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann reported that Ibaka was warming up and looking OK after missing Saturday’s competition against Iran.

As it turned out, we saw that for ourselves as soon as he entered the game with a putback slam and a blocked shot late in the first quarter.

Throughout the contest, Ibaka helped spread the floor with his mid-range jumper, but people will remember this one for how often he was soaring above the rim for dunks and rebounds.

In just under 21 minutes, the big man finished with 18 points on 67 percent shooting while bringing down eight boards in the process.

 

Rudy Fernandez: A-

You could see how hard Fernandez was going to play from the opening tipoff. The ball went up, Spain masterfully tipped the ball away from the defense and Fernandez was off to the races for a quick attempt at a transition bucket.

Unfortunately for Fernandez, the rock didn’t drop, as international rules allow defenses to knock the ball off the rim.

However, this was hardly a bad omen for Spain, as Fernandez used his energy to score 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting (2-of-2 from deep) and collect two steals and a block along the way.

 

Rest of Team: B+

When looking at the rest of the roster, there were very few actual poor performances—Jose Calderon’s 0-of-4 shooting in nearly 15 minutes is the exception.

That just proves what kind of level this team is playing at, and it proves that it will contend deep into the World Cup.

During the matchup against Egypt, guys such as Sergio Llull and Sergio Rodriguez played with relentless energy and made plays on both ends that won’t go down in the box score, although numerous players fit that category at different times of the contest.

Three-point shooting was a problem in this one, as the team went just 7-of-25; however, the team nailed 61 percent of its two-pointers, according to FIBA.com, and pushed the tempo to an unmatched level from the onset of the competition.

 

Egypt Grades

Ibrahim Elgammal: B

Amr Gendy: C-

Moustafa Elmekawi: C

Ramy Ibrahim: D-

Rest of Team: D-

 

Ibrahim Elgammal: B

In spite of being down 42-24 after the second period, Egypt had one bright spot at halftime: Ibrahim Elgammal.

The 6’2″ perimeter player came alive in the second quarter, accumulating eight points by the half. His unwillingness to concede early is what made the second period competitive (14 points for Egypt, 16 points for Spain), and he ultimately went on to finish with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists.

 

Amr Gendy: C-

Although Gendy wasn’t quite the silver lining Elgammal was by the end of the first half, he was something of the sort in the first quarter.

When Egypt was struggling to put the ball in the basket early, Gendy was the only consistent option. In fact, he had half of his team’s points until the 8:25 mark of the second quarter.

The only problem is that at that point he only had six points, meaning Egypt only had 12, and he wouldn’t score again the rest of the way.

 

Moustafa Elmekawi: C

Admittedly, you have to search for small details when looking for positives from Egypt’s performance. But that’s what basketball is often about during learning experiences.

When it comes to Elmekawi, the 6’8″ guard was aggressive at the rim in the first quarter. He wasn’t able to do much against the size of Spain, but his footwork was decent, and he threatened points down low despite only scoring six on the night.

 

Ramy Ibrahim: D-

If you think we’ve been generous with Egypt’s grades up to this point considering the final score, you might be right. But that’s about to change as we discuss Ramy Ibrahim.

At 6’9″, the power forward is tied as Egypt’s tallest player, yet nearly half of his total shots were from behind the arc.

He did manage to pull down seven rebounds, but having shot 0-of-7 on the night for zero points, his size may have been better utilized if he’d been aggressive in trying to draw fouls in the paint.

 

Rest of Team: D-

In the first quarter alone, we saw Egypt shoot 0-of-8 from behind the arc. The team found slight success when it attacked the rim, but the problem is that it just didn’t have the confidence to approach the bigs of Spain.

By the end of the game, Egypt had shot just 34 percent from the field and 16 percent from downtown.

We won’t give the rest of the roster an F because there were stretches where attacking the rim seemed like an actual goal, but virtually everything else was tough for fans to swallow. 

 

Coming Up Next

Both of these teams play again on Monday, Sept. 1. Spain will take on Brazil, while Egypt will face France.

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France vs. Brazil: Game Grades, Analysis for FIBA World Cup 2014 Matchup

The 2014 FIBA World Cup got underway for Brazil and France, with the two teams facing each other in Group A action. It was a close affair, with Brazil taking a lead midway through the second quarter and not relinquishing it in its 65-63 victory. France, for its part, was able to keep things close after trailing by 10 partway through the third quarter, but it was never able to come all the way back.

Brazil Grades

Marcelinho Huertas: A

The Brazilian point guard was the most effective player on the court. He had good ball movement, finding teammates for five assists. On top of that, he also got in on the scoring action, notching a game-high 16 points and spreading the floor by hitting two of his three-point attempts, which helped open up the paint for Brazil’s frontcourt.

He had a nice fourth quarter for Brazil. On one possession he hit a three-pointer, extending the lead to eight. Then a few possessions later he worked a nice give-and-go with Nene.

 

Anderson Varejao: B+

Varejao did what he does best, which is rebound the ball. He had a game-high nine rebounds, including five on the offensive glass in the victory. On top of that, he blocked one shot and got a steal for the Brazilians, as he was one of its most effective players in the paint. While he was only 2-of-8 shooting from the field, he was effective in getting to the charity stripe for a game-high six attempts. 

 

Tiago Splitter: B

Like Varejao, Splitter did his best work in the paint. The center was a pest, especially matched up against NBA teammate Boris Diaw. He recorded six points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in a well-rounded effort. 

 

Leandro Barbosa: C

Barbosa finished the game with eight points and two rebounds. He wasn’t the most efficient in getting his points, as he only made two of his nine field-goal attempts. However, both of them were three-pointers, which helped to spread the floor and allow Brazil’s frontcourt of Splitter, Varejao and Nene to work.

 

Marquinhos Vieira: B+

Other than Huertas, Vieira was the only other Brazilian in double figures. He finished the game with 10 points. He also brought down six rebounds and nailed one of his two three-point attempts in his team-high 26 minutes of action.  

 

Rest of Team: B

Brazil also got solid efforts from the rest of its team. Nene had a nice game with five points and eight rebounds while shooting guard Raulzinho Neto notched six points, three rebounds and one steal in 17 minutes of action.

 

France Grades

Boris Diaw: A

Diaw was far and away France’s best player. He had a well-rounded game, scoring 15 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists. He was also effective on defense, blocking one shot and recording one steal.

Perhaps his most memorable play came at the end of the game when he cut Brazil’s lead to one with only one minute and twenty seconds remaining. Yet he also had a nice coast-to-coast lay-in in the third quarter to get France within five at the start of the fourth.

 

Nicolas Batum: A

As he’s known to do for the Portland Trail Blazers while playing stateside, Batum was solid on both ends of the floor. No sequence displayed that better than one at the beginning of the third quarter. On the offensive end, Batum hit a corner three-pointer. Then on Brazil’s ensuing possession, he blocked a Tiago Splitter shot while coming over as a help defender.

Batum finished the game with 13 points, four rebounds and one assist in a game-high 31 minutes of action.

 

Mickael Gelabale: C

Gelabale was third on the team in scoring, finishing the game with seven points in 24 minutes. He also added two rebounds, one assist and hit his only three-point attempt of the game, as well as three of his five total field-goal attempts. 

 

Rudy Gobert: C-

Gobert‘s best work came in the paint matched up against Splitter. He did a solid job dissuading shots, as he finished with two blocks. He also tallied six points on 3-of-5 shooting to go along with three rebounds.

However, the center also committed a game-high four personal fouls in his 18 minutes of action. That’s saying something since the officials largely let the teams play, with many questionable sequences that would normally be called a foul.

 

Antoine Diot: C

Diot was a pest on defense for France, finishing the game with two steals as well as deflecting another pass. However, he wasn’t very active on offense, only scoring four points and taking four attempts in almost 19 minutes of action.

 

Rest of Team: D

France didn’t get much from the rest of its team. Evan Fournier, another NBA player, didn’t score any points or record any rebounds. His best play was using a foul to give in the closing seconds of the first half, which prevented Brazil from scoring on a fast-break opportunity.  

 

Coming Up Next: 

Both teams return to the court in short order. France takes on Serbia on Aug. 31 at 9:30 a.m. ET, while Brazil faces Iran on Aug. 31 at 12 p.m. ET. 

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USA vs. Finland FIBA World Cup: Game Grades, Analysis for Team USA vs. Wolf Pack

Following a summer full of anticipation, Team USA has finally kicked off the 2014 FIBA World Cup with a commanding 114-55 win over Finland. The tournament won’t be won because of a single good game, but the showing we saw Saturday was emblematic of what we expect to see moving forward.

As efficient as the offense was for the star-laden group of NBA players, the defensive performance is what deserves the most recognition. Finland didn’t score a single field goal in the second quarter, which translates to bad basketball no matter what country you’re from.

To Finland’s credit, the underdogs kept things close for the first five minutes of the game, but a 20-8 U.S. run to close out the first quarter was too much to recover from. Team USA went into the second period with a 15-point lead, and it never looked back, taking Game 1 of the tournament in blowout fashion.

 

Team USA Grades:

James Harden: B+

Anthony Davis: A

Derrick Rose: A-

Klay Thompson: A

Rest of Team: B+

 

James Harden: B+

Before the FIBA World Cup officially began, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo sang Harden’s praises. “Harden is kind of a natural leader and he seems to be willing to accept that role,” Collangelo said, via Michael Lee of The Washington Post

As it turned out, Harden was in fact that leader in Game 1 of the tournament. He came out playing efficient basketball and was the team’s leading scorer after the first quarter. His production slowed down once the game got out of hand and he was able to rest, but his seven early points and hustle on defense (he finished with four steals and one block) helped spark the team’s blowout performance.

 

Anthony Davis: A

Anthony Davis used Game 1 of the FIBA World Cup as a personal showcase. He’s the next great superstar of the NBA, and he reminded fans across the world of that fact in just 14 total minutes.

In approximately nine first-half minutes, Davis recorded 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, and he did it while utilizing his athleticism in face-up situations. He’d go on to finish with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, and while his defense didn’t stick out as much as you might have expected it to on the box score, he was as menacing as ever when it came to shooing people away from the paint and adjusting shots at the rim.

 

Derrick Rose: A-

Kyrie Irving may have earned the starting spot entering this contest, but Derrick Rose reminded us why he’s on the roster when he came in off the bench: energy, athleticism and blinding quickness.

Although people will talk about Rose’s explosiveness on offense, his efforts on defense are what should have everyone raving over his performance. Along with 12 points in nearly 23 minutes, he collected one steal and blocked two shots. He was also a plus-45 in the plus-minus category (game high), according to FIBA.com.

 

Klay Thompson: A

Against Finland, Klay Thompson did what Klay Thompson does. He shot threes, and he shot them at an extremely efficient rate.

Along with going 4-of-7 from deep, Thompson played well defensively (are you seeing a theme among Team USA’s top performers?). You wouldn’t know it by looking at the box score, but his rotations were quick, and that was the perfect complement to his 70 percent shooting from the field.

 

Rest of Team: B+

Simply put: When your team shoots 59 percent from the field while only allowing its opponents to shoot 28 percent, there aren’t going to be many (if any) bad grades.

Games like this are important for Team USA because it creates cohesion on both ends of the floor. Blowouts allow the entire roster to make an appearance, which is crucial because both chemistry and experience will be more important as the tournament progresses.

Of “the rest,” give Kenneth Faried and Rudy Gay a ton of credit. Faried played above the rim with high energy the whole way, and the two combined for an efficient 8-of-12 shooting. The team didn’t see much out of the bottom of the rotation until garbage time, but the only disappointing surprise was Steph Curry’s 0-of-5 three-point shooting.

 

Coming Up Next:

Team USA’s next contest is against Turkey on Sunday, Aug. 31. Turkey is coming off a 76-73 win over New Zealand.

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Kevin Love Trade Grades

Kevin Love Trade Grades
Cleveland Gets: Kevin Love
Minnesota Gets: Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young, Anthony Bennett, Trade Exception
Philadelphia Gets: First Round Pick, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved
The Cavaliers have traded for the best offensive big man in the NBA and now have the best Big 3 in the NBA, with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Love will become their 2nd option offensively, but you can still expect 23+ points and 12+ rebounds and an All NBA selection. He is one of the 5 best players in the NBA and although the price was big, this is a trade they make with no hesitation, as they are now one of the 2 favorites in the East and can win a title next season.
The Timberwolves traded their best player and one of the 5 best players in the NBA, but he wasn’t going to re-sign next offseason and they had to get value for him while they could and they received incredible value; the 2 most recent number 1 picks in the draft and they have gotten one of the bigg…

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NBA Draft 2014 Results: Table of Letter Grades for Rounds 1-2 for Each Franchise

For a night that so many organizations have aimed toward over recent seasons, the 2014 NBA draft certainly lived up to the hype. Now it’s a matter of the players living up to that same hype.

Although the destinations of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid dominated the storylines and speculation heading into Thursday night, there was little surprise when that trio saw their names come off the board first. After that, though, it got awfully interesting with plenty of teams making surprise moves—some good, and some not so good.

Some of the tank-happy teams got their wish at the top of the board, while other teams with great opportunities decided to go in head-scratching directions.

Let’s break down grades for all 30 teams that took part in the 2014 NBA draft.

 

 

Noteworthy Drafts

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks were the second team to draft on Thursday night, but their selection had more of a No. 1-overall feel to it—which should play out on the court as well.

Jabari Parker had a real chance to go No. 1 overall, but the Bucks weren’t about to pass him up at No. 2 when Andrew Wiggins was selected first. 

Milwaukee knows what it is getting with Parker—a player who is already polished on the offensive end with the ability to play on the wing or even at the four spot, if needed. He’s already big and skilled enough to be the Bucks’ go-to guy from the start, despite being one year removed from high school.

Perhaps most important for the Bucks is that he doesn’t seem to mind the idea of sticking around his whole career, as the Washington Post‘s Michael Lee observed:

The Bucks were the worst team in basketball last season, but the tanking has paid off in a big way with Milwaukee nabbing one of the top prospects not just in this class, but in the last five or six years. There’s no real star power on the roster, meaning Parker can be the franchise player from the start and the Bucks can build around him.

They began doing so before Thursday’s draft even concluded, adding Damien Inglis and Johnny O’Bryant. Inglis should be an immediate addition, per the Bucks’ Twitter account:

Inglis will give the Bucks some depth on the wing to help out Parker, and O’Bryant has great potential as a post scorer and rebounder who can crack the rotation. But there’s no doubt that this draft is all about Parker, and Milwaukee got its man.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

It might be safe to say that when the Sixers decided more than a year ago to sell out for the 2014 draft, few around Philadelphia expected neither Wiggins nor Parker to be available when the Sixers were on the clock.

For much of the months leading up to draft day, it was working out perfectly for Philly as Joel Embiid threatened to be picked at No. 1 or 2—leaving either Wiggins or Parker, not both, open. Well, Embiid‘s fractured foot a week before the draft put a stop to that. 

But there was no denying Embiid‘s stock, per the team’s official Twitter:

Picking Embiid complicates things a bit in Philly as it picked Nerlens Noel in the 2013 draft before sitting him out all of last season. But Noel’s ceiling to begin with was a starter at best, so this allows Embiid—a franchise player if he fulfills his potential—to take the long-term role of dominating the frontcourt.

Of course, the Sixers were busy on draft day with a number of picks. They moved down from No. 10 to 12, grabbing Dario Saric on a draft-and-stash—arguably the best international player in the class who figures to make a big impact when he leaves Europe.

Philadelphia continued stockpiling talent in the second round, adding Jerami Grant, Vasilije Micic and Jordan McRae. Grant can be an impact rebounder right away, while McRae is a pure scorer who will give the backcourt more options if he thrives.

 

Chicago Bulls

With picks No. 16 and 19 in the first round, the Chicago Bulls were in position to add a couple of talented youngsters to help bolster a championship-caliber squad that has a number of holes.

But they had their sights set on just one player, and using both picks to get him ended up being an easy choice. The Bulls added Doug McDermott by moving into the lottery and grabbing him with the 11th overall pick.

Of course, the biggest move the Bulls are hoping to make this offseason isn’t in the draft, but rather to add Carmelo Anthony. Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears reported Friday that the Bulls are one of five teams Anthony expects to meet with.

This may or may not help in that regard, but ESPN’s Mike Wilbon likes the pick regardless:

It’s not hard to see why McDermott fits so well. The Bulls are a serious contender, but their lack of scoring on the wing—and in general—has been their downfall over recent seasons.

If Chicago makes a serious free-agent swoop in the coming days and weeks, it will need McDermott to bring a scoring burst off the bench. If the Bulls fail to bring in a max-contract free agent, they’ll really need McDermott’s scoring.

All in all, the Bulls couldn’t have gotten a much better fit for what they’re trying to build in 2014-15. 

 

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NBA Draft Grades 2014: Full List of Scores for All Picks

After a long wait for the highly anticipated 2014 NBA draft, it seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye. Before we knew it, 60 of basketball’s brightest young athletes had new homes in the Association.

Some of these players will be works in progress, needing time to develop certain traits and abilities before they can truly begin contributing on a consistent basis. Others were more NBA-ready and could log some serious on-court time this season.

No matter which route each franchise opted to take, schematic fits, draft position and team needs play a huge part in overall draft success.

Taking all of this into consideration, let’s take a look at grades for each of the draft’s 60 selections and highlight a few picks that stood out.

 

4. Orlando Magic: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona

This was the first rather perplexing pick of the evening on Thursday.

Gordon is a solid player with nice defensive skills and great athleticism. He’s certainly a certified top-10 pick; however, this was a reach at No. 4 overall.

The Magic need a power forward, and Gordon should be able to contribute initially due to his prowess as a rebounder, but his offensive skill set needs plenty of work, and he may not have much of an impact on that end of the court.

Guard appeared to be a bigger need for the Magic here, and although the team ended up snagging Elfrid Payton later, it’s hard to see the reasoning for passing up on Dante Exum at this spot.

Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders tweeted his initial reaction that seemed to be shared by many other Twitter users:

Like practically every pick in the draft, we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out.

 

19. Denver Nuggets: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

This may have been the steal of the first round.

The Nuggets traded Doug McDermott to the Chicago Bulls for the No. 16 and No. 19 picks in the draft. Chicago came away with International sensation Jusuf Nurkic and former Michigan State standout Gary Harris with those selections.

Now, that’s a haul.

NBA analyst Mark Deeks put it perfectly:

Nabbing Harris at No. 19 is just ridiculous. If he would’ve gone in the top 10, no one would have thought twice about the selection.

An intelligent and well-rounded player, Harris comes from a great system under Tom Izzo in which he averaged 16.7 points, four rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 42.9 percent from the floor on a very talented team.

Harris has all the tools to be a starter, but considering the Nuggets deep roster, he’ll be a valuable rotational piece to begin his career.

 

34. New York Knicks: Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State

This pick may have won the second round.

Early was widely heralded as a first-round pick before the draft, and it’s a bit of a mystery as to why he slipped into the second.

The Knicks were more than happy to scoop him up with the 34th selection, as the former Wichita State forward figures to come in and play a big role in Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher’s triangle offense.

Last season on the Shockers offense, Early averaged 16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from downtown.

With the impending departure of Carmelo Anthony from the team, adding a phenomenal scorer like Early was a brilliant move at this point in the draft.

SiriusXM’s Adam Schein was loving the Knicks’ moves on draft day:

Could this wind up to be the steal of the draft? It’s a big possibility.

 

Honorary Selection

There were some magnificent picks in this year’s draft, but none better than the honorary selection of former Baylor standout Isaiah Austin, who recently had to give up his hopes of playing in the NBA after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome.

It was a great moment shared by everyone in attendance and all of the event’s onlookers.

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2014 NBA Draft Grades: Full Results and Scores for Rounds 1-2

Immediately after the conclusion of the 2014 NBA draft, fans are begging to know how good of a job their favorite team did at acquiring talent.

Players have a way of surprising draft experts after serving a few years in the league. With this in mind, it is impossible to know how well each team did until we see how things work out on the court.

Still, every team in the draft needs to use its position to gain value while minimizing risk. It does not make sense to take a chance on a player too early who only has a slight chance of excelling a few years down the road. Upside only works when you can get value for it and have a plan for it to develop.

Here is a look at grades for each pick in the draft with a breakdown of the best team drafts from Thursday night.

 

Best Drafts

Boston Celtics

It seemed strange for the Celtics to draft a point guard when arguably the best player on the current roster was also a point guard. This is especially true considering both have problems shooting from the outside, making it unlikely either will move to the 2 position.

However, general manager Danny Ainge is confident Rajon Rondo will stick around even after Boston drafted Marcus Smart, telling Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston:

Absolutely. No question. And [Smart] and Avery. No question. He’s a very versatile player. He can play off the ball. He can handle the ball. With his length and his size, he can probably play against a lot of small forwards — 6-3, long wingspan, 230 pounds. He’s a very versatile player. Easily those guys can play together, and I think they would really thrive playing together, all of them.

The good news is that the Celtics now at least have a safety net as someone who can lead the rebuilding process from the point guard position. Smart is one of the best two-way players in the class and can do anything to help his team win.

Meanwhile, Boston made another strong pick later in the first round in the form of James Young. The wing is one of the best offensive players in the class thanks to his slashing ability and knack for finishing above the rim.

Young knows exactly how he will help the team right away:

If he can gain more consistency in his outside shot, he could become one of the bigger steals in this class.

 

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets needed help at more than one position after an extremely disappointing season. As a result, they traded the No. 11 pick for the No. 16 and No. 19 selections in the first round. This ended up being a good move for Denver because the organization was able to bring in two talented players.

First, the Nuggets selected Jusuf Nurkic, who is more advanced than your typical international big man. He has good technique in the low post and knows how to perform defensively.

Meanwhile, the real jewel of the class was Gary Harris at No. 19. The shooting guard was a bit inconsistent in college but has all the tools you look for in a shooting guard. Seth Greenberg of ESPN explains that his ability goes beyond ordinary measurements:

Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com takes into account all the moves over the two-day period for the Nuggets:

It seems unlikely Denver will automatically become contenders in the Western Conference right away next season. Still, the additions will make a big difference going forward.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

According to CSN Philly, Joel Embiid will miss the next five to eight months due to his surgery. Dario Saric will not come to the United States to play for at least two years. If you are a 76ers fan, it makes sense to be disappointed with this draft.

Things are even worse when you consider that Philadelphia is coming off a terrible year with Nerlens Noel sitting out all season with an injury.

So why was this draft a good one? Because the 76ers know that it will take a long time to turn this team into a contender and are patient enough to build for the long term.

Dana O’Neil of ESPN believes the first pick will end up well:

Meanwhile, Saric can be a big-time player in the future with his pure skill on the offensive end. ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi breaks down the strategy:

Philadelphia added quality players in the second round like K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant, who will help out now and still have room to grow. This was a risky draft for the 76ers, but it will be fun to see how this turns out.

 

New York Knicks

This draft was extremely impressive for a team that did not have any picks as of one day earlier. The Knicks sent Tyson Chandler and others in a package that brought back some second-round selections, and New York made them count.

With their first pick, the Knicks selected Cleanthony Early, who could have easily been taken in the middle of the first round. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman was happy with the selection:

Early can create his own shot and consistently be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenders. On a team without many scorers, the Wichita State star can play a big role next season.

The Knicks then followed up this pick by taking Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the brother of the Milwaukee star. The Greek player is a bit older at 21 years old, but he still has plenty of upside that should excite fans as soon as he steps on the court.

When you add these picks to French center Louis Labeyrie, this was a good haul for the Knicks. Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports was impressed as well:

While it would have been nice to have a first-round pick, the organization did a great job with what it had.

 

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