In the Paint

Last Night, the NBA offered many games between potential playoff matches. From the Memphis Grizzlies going up against the Dallas Mavericks to the Cleveland Cavaliers battling the Chicago Bulls, Martin Luther King Day had some can’t miss NBA action. But don’t panic if you missed the games. Here at the Grill, we have you covered. See what I took away from the NBA last night here!

Best Game of the Night

The Best Game of the Night was a tough call for me. There was a clear favorite in the matchup of Eastern Powerhouse teams, the Cavs and the Bulls. However, what I thought would be a defensive grind to the final buzzer was not quite that. The Cavs ended up pulling away, beating the Bulls 108-94.
No, my Best Game of the Night was DeMar DeRozen and the Toronto Raptors playing in Milwaukee against Brandon Knight and the Bucks. The Bucks continue to be my favorite surprise of the season. Losing number 2 pick in the 2014 draft, Jabari Parker, was suppose to be a death sentence to the Jason Kidd led Bucks, but they have held their own, remaining over .500 with a 21-20 record. This is good enough for 6th place in the abysmal Eastern Conference. However, the strong play from both Brandon Knight and Giannis Antetokounmpo was not enough to overcome the Dwayne Casey led Raptors. Toronto now sits at 27-14 and 3rd place in the Eastern Conference.
This game was a grind for both teams going down to the last two-minutes, where Terrence Ross scored his teams final two baskets to end up with 16 points in total. Kyle Lowry was the high scorer for the Raptors with 18 points. Brandon Knight scored a game high 20 points.
Its important to note that Toronto snapped a three game road losing streak with their victory in Milwaukee. Toronto’s next game is Wednesday at Memphis against the Grizzlies (29-12). The Bucks host the Utah Jazz (14-27) on Thursday.

Worst Game of the Night

The Sixers take the cake here. They’re forgettable season got a little more irrelevant with their huge loss to the Washington Wizards, 111-76. The Wizards controlled the game from start to finish, doing whatever they wanted to from both the backcourt and the front court. What I do not understand is why the Sixers continue to work so hard for that number one pick. Center Jahil Okafor is by far the most developed and most intriguing prospect coming out of Duke, assuming he declares for the draft after his freshman season. However, the 76ers already have two very talented big men on their roster, with Nerlens Noel, the piece the Sixers got in return for giving away All-Star Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans, and Joel Embiid, a center who has drawn comparisons with former Rockets great and Hall of Famer Hakkeem Olijuwan.
The Wizards continue to get great play out of point guard John Wall and center Marcin Gortat. They continue to look comfortable in their run and gun offense that can score in a hurry. The only thing one can take away from this game is that the Wizards will be a scary team to meet in the playoffs. There are few teams that can dominate both ends of the floor like the Washington Wizards.

MVP of the Night

James Harden is a beard above the rest when it comes to my MVP of the Night. Harden continues his scoring tear shooting 7-12 from the 3 point line dropping an incredible 33 points in the second half. Harden is taking control of a somewhat disappointing Rocket’s offense and continues to lead the NBA in scoring with 26.6 points per game.
LVP of the Night
Pau Gasol, you are my LVP os the night. It pains me to do this but a costly turnover and a poor shooting performance lead to the Chicago Bulls dropping an important game to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This blemish on what is shaping up to be a great season for Pau should only be a speed bump for the 34 year old forward. I do not expect this performance to become a trend, and I believe Gasol is the key to bringing the Bulls their first NBA championship since Michael Jordan.

Incredible stat line of the night

Demarcus Cousins continues to show he could be a dominant superstar if he is surrounded by NBA talent. Cousins grabbed an incredible 19 rebounds to go along with his 22 points in the Sacramento King’s disappointing loss to the Portland Trailblazers. Cousins needs to get out of Sacramento and fast. His numbers remind me of vintage Shaquille O’Neal who fled the Orlando Magic for the sunnier talent in Hollywood, winning three championships with Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers. If I were Boogie, I’d be scouting new teams and trying to figure out which team gives me the best chance to win the ultimate prize

The Game that Means the Most

This is an easy choice: THE NEW YORK KNICKS HAVE FINALLY WON AGAIN. I knew the Knicks would be bad. With all respect to Phil Jackson, the Knickerbockers were too much of a mess to turn around in one season, something I believe Phil recognized the moment he decided to trade away Tyson Chandler. But against the up-and-coming New Orleans Pelicans, Carmelo Anthony went to work dominating the stat sheet with 24 points and 9 rebounds to snap a 16 game losing streak. And here I was beginning to worry the Derek Fisher experiment would end after only one season. The Knicks need talent and fast if they hope to turn it around, but if your Jackson, whats the point. The team will already miss the playoffs. Phil should just horde draft picks and create cap space. A little more talent around Melo would be very helpful in the future. But until then, Phil will have to do something for the good of the team that he is not very familiar with; losing…

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