Cleat Geeks

NBA Post-Season Grades Part 1

Cavs Parade pic

Well first thing is first, let’s all congratulate the Cleveland Cavaliers on a successful season, and being the first of any team to erase a 3-1 deficit! Sure the series had its dull moments with the blowouts early and so on, but I will be the first to say, Game 7 was officiated exceptionally well, and from beginning to end was a showcase of a potential rivalry and rematch we can see again in the future, should each team maintain the same group.

Now on to the subject at hand! Below I have ranked each team in alphabetical order ,part 1 will look at the first 15 teams with part 2 looking at the other 15 teams, based on their performance this past season. As the saying goes, “Call a spade a spade.”

Atlanta Hawks GRADE: C

Atlanta-Hawks-SymbolWinning 48 games and getting swept in the 2nd round, is much worse than 60 wins and a bounce from the Conference Final from the season before. Atlanta has found it’s roadblock in the East once again; and due to the fact they decided to sign cheap rotational players, could not get Kyle Korver going like before, and have had some disconnect between point guards (Schroeder and Teague), they just never seem to find the right mind of space to play in. Oh, and not to mention, Jeff Teague revealed he played the season with a partially torn patellar tendon.

 

Boston Celtics GRADE: B

BostonCelticsLogoMuch improved from the year before thanks to Brad Stevens and Isaiah Thomas. Had Avery Bradley been healthy, the Hawks would have seen 7 games from these guys. 48 wins after a season watching the playoffs is just the groundwork needed to get the organization going forward. Also, if you haven’t heard yet, Boston has the 3rd overall pick in the Draft coming up.

 

Brooklyn Nets GRADE: F

BrooklynNets3DLogoEverything that could have gone wrong for the Nets did. 21 wins, loss of head coach during the season, waiving one of the only players that could mismatch opponents and provide clutch buckets (Joe Johnson). After being last in almost every category, I believe I’m not the only one who wonders where the Nets are headed seeing as how owner Mikhail Prokhorov promised a championship at the most interesting of times.

 

Charlotte Hornets GRADE: C

CharlotteHornetsLogo33 wins to 48 and a 1st round exit after 7 games is a huge improvement, and much needed to save “Buzz City” from the doom it looked like it would face early in the season. The crunch time buckets were nowhere to be found by the Hornets when needed to close game 6 against Miami, but with experience and time, we could see this team moving it’s way up in the East real soon.

 

Chicago Bulls GRADE: D

chicagobullshdlogoThe Bulls didn’t make the playoffs, and Fred Hoiberg couldn’t seem to connect with Jimmy Butler. On the bright side, Derrick Rose played 66 games and managed to throw in 16 pts and 4 ast. Other than that, Chicago had a tough time closing games, and finding the right rotation to get it done. Noah is on the block, and if you haven’t seen the headlines Rose is gone as well.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers GRADE: A

ClevelandCavaliersLogoYes, David Blatt was fired for almost no reason. Yes they couldn’t beat the Warriors in the regular season with a fully healthy squad. But, they won the title, and in a fashion no other team has, or may not do for a long time. What we had witnessed from LeBron was jaw dropping, and Kyrie Irving was sensational, especially when it mattered the most. Granted Kevin Love had some struggles in this series, but he found a way to stick it out, and in the final seconds of the season, managed to throw off one of the greatest shooters in history for the win. Through it all, who can’t be happy for the city of Cleveland? After 52 years, it was heartwarming just see it all finally see “the curse” come to a spectacular end.

Dallas Mavericks GRADE: C

DallasMavericksLogoIt was a steady year for Dirk and same as usual for the Mavs who as always seem to remain in the middle of the pack when it comes to seeding. They never really did anything wrong but never really did anything outstanding. With Nowitzki turning 38, and his potential to leave Dallas along with Chandler Parsons could do more harm than good for the team going forward.

 

Pacers Nuggets Basketball

Denver Nuggets GRADE: D

Since the departure of the COTY George Karl (in 2013) the Nuggets have yet to find a way upstream. However, it will not be forgotten that I said at the beginning of the season, that Nikola Jokic, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Emmanuel Mudiay will be the bright young talent of the future. 1 more solid piece for this team will propel them in the right direction no doubt.

Detroit Pistons GRADE: C

PrintYou can’t be upset with the direction Stan Van Gundy is taking this young team. Yes they did get swept in the 1st round, but they threw everything and the kitchen sink against LeBron and company, and narrowly lost. Should Reggie Jackson find a leading initiative on this team, this could get ugly for the east in the future.

 

 

Golden State Warriors GRADE: B

GoldenStateWarriorsLogoCOTY Steve Kerr, first ever Unanimous MVP Stephen Curry, regular season win record set at 73 games. It all sounds fun and cool until you wake up the morning after game 7 of an NBA Final and remembered you lost. Yes these things we’ll never forget, but what good does it if you don’t capture a title in the process? However if it follows the hype and reports we are seeing now, the Warriors may return to that untouchable status we saw in the regular season.

 

Houston Rockets GRADE: F

HoustonRocketsLogoDiscombobulation on both sides of the floor is not pretty. We can all agree that James Harden is a bright star in this league, but his defensive lapses, selfishness, and inability to unite his teammates (including Dwight Howard) is why I feel this grade belongs to them. They looked better in the Conference Final a season ago. Shoot, they looked better on paper than they did this past season.

 

RaptorsVSPacers

Indiana Pacers GRADE: B

I’m ecstatic about Paul George coming back and showing off his killer mentality in the playoffs! George almost single handedly pushed the series with Toronto to 7 games, and nearly could have won it honestly! Its tough to see Frank Vogel go, but if Nate McMillan can produce the same, or somehow better rhythm, they should pick up where they left off no problem.

 

L.A. Clippers GRADE: D

LAClippersLogoSometimes I ask myself, “why debate with Clippers fans?” Josh Smith proved useless, depth on the wing was still never addressed, Blake Griffin had off the court issues. The only thing I saw that was reasonably worthy, was Jamal Crawford picking up another 6th Man Award, but even that couldn’t save them from a prompt exit by the Blazers.

 

 

L.A. Lakers GRADE: F

LALakersLogo2So long Kobe, we will miss you. Sorry to see the worst season in Lakers history, but on the bright side you had an awesome farewell tour (thanks to the ineffective coaching of Byron Scott), and scored 60 points to cap off your incredible career in the final game. Other than that, yeah the Lakers had a horrible season. What else is there to say?

 

 

Memphis Grizzlies GRADE: D

MemphisGrizzliesLogoOld. A little slow. Need more offensive help. Didn’t find what they were looking for in Dave Joeger. David Fizdale comes in from Miami with 2 recent championships. Lets see where it takes them.

 

 

 

 

Do you feel like there are any teams that deserve otherwise? Comment below!

 

 

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