Cleat Geeks

NBA Post-Season Grades Part 2

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.”

Milwaukee Bucks GRADE: F


Irrelevant in almost every category, and couldn’t find a way to get it done on both ends of the floor. Awesome young athletes though. Parker played in 76 games, and looked like he might have a chance to bud into something special.



Miami Heat GRADE: B



I felt that Miami was solid in the middle, and guard wise seeing as to how they matched up against smaller players (Toronto or Charlotte). However, they just didn’t get it done. Hassan Whiteside is a walking double-double, and will get payed handsomely to be someones starting middle man. As for Dwayne Wade, we will see this summer what he chooses to do for his beloved and only franchise.


Minnesota Timberwolves GRADE: D



Again, rest in peace Flip Saunders. The credit for this grade however, is ROTY Karl Anthony Towns. Andrew Wiggins was a big boost, as well as Zach Lavine, and Ricky Rubio looked to have finally found his way. However, with the likes of Kevin Garnett, Tayshaun Prince, and Andre Miller, things slowed down fast. I’ll save the rest for my Pre-Season Power Rankings.


New Orleans Pelicans GRADE: D



What was an awesome pace for the Pelicans last season was a tough sight to watch when it came to defense. The injury bug bit them hard as well, limiting guys like Eric Gordon to only 45 games and Anthony Davis to 61. Even in their loss to the Warriors in playoffs 2 seasons ago, it looked as if they had finally found a way to turn the corner. This past year was a small step back, but not a complete failure.


New York Knicks GRADE: C



Kristaps Porzingis proved everyone wrong that cried over his name on draft night, and pretty much showed the Knick world to trust Phil Jackson. After averaging 14 pts and 7 rbs, along with getting some sick dunks, it should leave any fan of basketball with the taste to want to see more of what this kid can do. Now that Derek Fisher is gone, and Jeff Hornacek is in, which way do the Knicks go?


Oklahoma City Thunder GRADE: C



C is for choke. It’s good enough for me. Becoming complacent, and playing “hero ball” doomed the team that would look to stun the world champs before they could  even get to the Finals. Steven Adams is legit, and along with Kanter proves this team is deadly in the paint and on the glass. Now they have to pitch the deal of a lifetime to one of their superstars in Kevin Durant, in hopes of keeping him in OKC. Good Luck.


Orlando Magic GRADE: C



They are young, pesky, and middle of the pack in many categories that could benefit them in the long run. Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, and Victor Oladipo are the true future of the team, and with the right pieces can really get back in the race of the East.



Phily76ers GRADE: F


Is there really anything to discuss about this?……Didn’t think so. Oh wait they did get the number 1 overall pick in the draft! Ok I’m done….


Phoenix Suns GRADE: F



I’m not sure how you have the 3rd highest pace in the league, but rank 3rd to last in the league in ppg? With Hornacek gone, can Earl Watson really fill his shoes in what looks like a team that needs a real leader on the bench and on the floor?



Portland TrailBlazers GRADE: BPortlandCourt


Good job by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum beating up on the Clippers, and showing the league they can stand up to the big boys on their own! Those 2 alone are one of the deadliest backcourts in the league afterall! Everyone said this team without LaMarcus Aldridge was worthless, and replacing 4 out of 5 of their starters was nearly impossible. Against the wind however, they prevailed.




Sacramento Kings GRADE: D



You want to know something funny? The Kings had the highest pace in the league, was 3rd in scoring, and still couldn’t qualify for the post season. The continuous reports surfaced that George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins couldn’t even get on the same page, and as a result, Karl was fired. Another season up in smoke. On the bright side, Rondo did a good job being Rondo, and Willy Cauley-Stein along with Ben McLemore showed some good up side.


San Antonio Spurs GRADE: A



Not so much worried about them falling in the playoffs, but they were able to get LaMarcus Aldridge to bite into the “pass first, pass again, pass some more, then shoot system”. David West provided good minutes, and Kawhi Leonard is considered the best 2-way player in the league. Not to mention, they only loss 1 game at home this season!



Toronto Raptors GRADE: A



Reaching the Conference Final was a first time landmark for this ball club, and to be honest its just the tip of the iceberg. Especially if DeRozan and Biyombo stay put.



Utah Jazz GRADE: C



You can’t not be interested in what Quin Snyder has cooking over there in Salt Lake. After all, they were top 10 in Offensive Rebounds, and 2nd in overall defense. It was all going well down the stretch until they got a bad message at the beginning of their final game of the regular season eliminating them from the playoffs. Next year though, with Gobert in the middle, and Derrick Favors to back him up, if the Jazz keep the same tempo on D, they can make noise in the west.


Washington Wizards GRADE: F



Last but not least. Literally. 41-41 is mind boggling after a post season birth to the 2nd round a year before. Randy Wittman will not return, and now the team is putting its hopes into bringing the hometown kid (Kevin Durant) home. John Wall and Bradley Beal provide the works, but the inconsistencies of the bench played a large part in the doom of this once blooming squad. Scott Brooks did some good work in OKC, and was black balled out of a job. If he can turn over a new leaf, now would be the time.

This article was written by Matthew Buggs.


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