Grading Every NBA Team’s 2014 Season

NBA Team-By-Team Grades For The 2013-14 Season

Tim Duncan Spurs
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With the 2014 NBA Playoffs about ready to conclude, it's time to take a look back and hand out “grades” for each team’s performance during the 2013-14 season. What grade did your favorite team receive? Continue on to find out.

Atlanta Hawks: B+

Atlanta Hawks
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Atlanta Hawks: B+

Atlanta Hawks
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Without Al Horford for 53 games, the Atlanta Hawks, which were projected as a .500 team by most to begin the season, still managed to win 38 games and grab the No. 8 seed in the weak Eastern Conference. What made their season impressive was that in the playoffs, the Hawks held a 3-2 lead over the No. 1 seed Indiana Pacers. Despite eventually losing in Game 7, the Hawks had a great season without their best player for most of it.

Boston Celtics: C

Boston Celtics
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Boston Celtics: C

Boston Celtics
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No one was under the impression that the Boston Celtics were going to be competitive this year anyway, so there were no expectations for this team. The Celtics only got 30 games from their best player, Rajon Rondo, and other than big men Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, there wasn’t a ton of talent on the roster. Still, Brad Stevens showed that he wasn’t overwhelmed on the NBA scene.

Brooklyn Nets: C

Brooklyn Nets
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Brooklyn Nets: C

Brooklyn Nets
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Because of lofty preseason expectations that had the Nets pegged as a sleeper to win the Eastern Conference, Brooklyn may be perceived as a massive disappointment. However, the Nets fought through significant injuries to Brook Lopez and Deron Williams to notch a 44-win season despite a disastrous start. A victory in Toronto in Game 7 of their first-round series was the highlight of the season. The Nets were then routed by the Miami Heat in five.

Charlotte Bobcats: A-

Charlotte Bobcats
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Charlotte Bobcats: A-

Charlotte Bobcats
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Absolutely no one believed in the Charlotte Bobcats heading into this season, and it’s easy to see why with a combined 28 wins over the previous two seasons. Head coach Steve Clifford and the Bobcats used a top-10 defense and their new found post threat in Al Jefferson to clinch the No. 7 seed in the East. Even though they were swept by Miami in Round 1, it was a great season for the Bobcats, which will now be the Hornets to begin next season.

Chicago Bulls: B-

Chicago Bulls
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Chicago Bulls: B-

Chicago Bulls
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The Chicago Bulls had another serious injury issue this season. Derrick Rose appeared in only 10 games, and to top that off, Bulls leadership jettisoned Luol Deng to Cleveland after only 23 games. However, Tom Thibodeau, Joakim Noah and company had another 48-win season against all odds. In the playoffs, the Bulls fell rather easily to the younger and faster Washington Wizards in the first round in just five games.

Cleveland Cavaliers: D

Cleveland Cavaliers
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Cleveland Cavaliers: D

Cleveland Cavaliers
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The Cavaliers were a mess this season, even if they picked things up down the stretch. Cleveland was a fashionable playoff pick in the East, but the Kyrie Irving/Dion Waiters duo clashed all season and they couldn’t right the ship until well after Luol Deng and Spencer Hawes were brought in. The Cavs did make a late run at the playoffs before bowing out. On another note, Mike Brown was fired, and the Cavaliers have the No. 1 pick again.

Dallas Mavericks: A-

Dallas Mavericks
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Dallas Mavericks: A-

Dallas Mavericks
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With an older roster and a team seemingly starting to decline, most thought the Dallas Mavericks were done. The supporting cast looked ugly on paper after the addition of Monta Ellis and not much else. Still, Rick Carlisle and Dirk Nowitzki dragged their team to 49 wins and a playoff berth. It was the Mavericks who would take Western Conference juggernaut San Antonio to seven games in their first-round series.

Denver Nuggets: C-

Denver Nuggets
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Denver Nuggets: C-

Denver Nuggets
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The Denver Nuggets were a solid pick to make the postseason in 2013-14, but they were one of the more disappointing teams in the NBA. Brian Shaw’s club was incredibly streaky and injury-prone at times, and they seemed to be farther behind than anyone thought they would be. With the team lacking a true identity and a true star, things will be interesting this offseason with the Nuggets.

Detroit Pistons: F

Detroit Pistons
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Detroit Pistons: F

Detroit Pistons
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After a 29-53 season that saw just about everything go wrong, it’s hard to believe that many pundits picked the Detroit Pistons for the playoffs. Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings found their way to the Motor City with some early fanfare, but each struggled mightily. Head Coach Maurice Cheeks was fired halfway through the season and longtime GM Joe Dumars was not retained at the end of the season. This was a year to forget for the Pistons.

Golden State Warriors: C+

Golden State Warriors
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Golden State Warriors: C+

Golden State Warriors
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It seems odd to say that a 51-win team was a minor disappointment, but that's what happened to the Golden State Warriors. Still, the Warriors managed to clinch the No. 6 seed in the loaded Western Conference, and Stephen Curry continued his ascent to NBA superstardom. The Dubs lost a tough seven-game series to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round, and head coach Mark Jackson was fired at season's end.

Houston Rockets: C

Houston Rockets
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Houston Rockets: C

Houston Rockets
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Dwight Howard, James Harden and the Houston Rockets were a bit of an odd case this season, simply because they landed right on their projection of 54 wins. There were highs, there were lows, but Howard and Harden became arguably one of the best duos in the NBA. However, when it mattered most, the Rockets fell behind to an inferior Portland Trail Blazers team 3-1 in their first-round series before losing in six.

Indiana Pacers: C

Indiana Pacers
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Indiana Pacers: C

Indiana Pacers
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Because of the fact that the Indiana Pacers struggled mightily down the stretch of the regular season, the fact that they managed to achieve their preseason goal is lost in the shuffle. After their scorching hot start, the Pacers imploded. Newcomers like Evan Turner and Andrew Bynum became locker-room cancers and holdovers like Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson were inconsistent. The Pacers lost to Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals in six.

Los Angeles Clippers: A

Los Angeles Clippers
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Los Angeles Clippers: A

Los Angeles Clippers
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The Los Angeles Clippers were really good, and they were supposed to be. However, Doc Rivers and company deserve a tip of the hat for not just winning 57 games with their best player, Chris Paul, missing nearly a quarter of the season and JJ Redick only appearing in just 35 games, but how the whole team handled the fiasco surrounding their former owner (who will remain nameless). This was easily the best season in franchise history.

Los Angeles Lakers: D

Los Angeles Lakers
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Los Angeles Lakers: D

Los Angeles Lakers
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The Los Angeles Lakers would have been an F this season, but without Kobe Bryant for a majority of the season, the Lakers were supposed to be bad and they were. The Lakers were a running punch line for a majority of the season. By season's end, the Lakers were trotting out a comical roster that was atrocious defensively and hampered by injuries. It was a semi-miracle that the team actually won 27 games.

Memphis Grizzlies: C

Memphis Grizzlies
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Memphis Grizzlies: C

Memphis Grizzlies
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Injuries marred the Memphis Grizzlies the entire season, and they still managed a 50-win season. The Grizzlies played without Marc Gasol for 23 games, and once he came back, the Grizzlies took the Oklahoma City Thunder to seven games, eventually losing. What made this season a mediocre year was the fact that ownership actually considered having Mike Miller become a player-coach and considered firing Dave Joerger just six games into the season.

Miami Heat: A

Miami Heat
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Miami Heat: A

Miami Heat
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Very few teams have made it to the NBA Finals in back-to-back seasons, but the Miami Heat made it back to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance. Miami ran roughshod through the weak Eastern Conference. Despite being outclassed and outplayed so far by the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals, making the Finals four straight times is something that has rarely happened.

Milwaukee Bucks: F

Milwaukee Bucks
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Milwaukee Bucks: F

Milwaukee Bucks
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The Milwaukee Bucks tried to win games this season. Milwaukee made moves in the offseason to sign guys like OJ Mayo and Brandon Knight in order to compete, and their general disposition was that of a playoff-focused team. Instead, the Bucks floundered to the league’s worst record at 15-67. On the bright side? The team has a new ownership group and the No. 3 pick in this year's NBA Draft.

Minnesota Timberwolves: D+

Minnesota Timberwolves
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Minnesota Timberwolves: D+

Minnesota Timberwolves
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Minnesota won only 40 games last season and missed the playoffs by more than a handful of games. Despite having one of the best players in the NBA in Kevin Love, the Timberwolves missed the postseason once again. It can’t be ignored that Nikola Pekovic missed 28 games and the Wolves were battered on the wing, but after high expectations, the team failed once again. Coach Rick Adelman retired following the season.

New Orleans Pelicans: C

New Orleans Pelicans
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New Orleans Pelicans: C

New Orleans Pelicans
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The Pelicans were a dark horse playoff team in the West for some, but injuries severely hampered this team. Anthony Davis has turned into one of the bright young stars in the NBA, and the Pelicans even got 64 games out of the oft-injured Eric Gordon. Unfortunately, players like Ryan Anderson only played in 22 games and Jrue Holiday (acquired from the 76ers for a first-round pick) played in only 34 games.

New York Knicks: F

New York Knicks
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New York Knicks: F

New York Knicks
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The Knicks were pegged as a top-seed in the East when the season began, but they missed the playoffs entirely without sustaining a major injury to one of their core players. Yes, Tyson Chandler missed 27 games, but New York got the best season of Carmelo Anthony’s career and the Knicks still couldn’t win more than 37 games. JR Smith was a disaster, Mike Woodson was a disaster and Andrea Bargnani was an absolute disaster.

Oklahoma City Thunder: A-

Oklahoma City Thunder
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Oklahoma City Thunder: A-

Oklahoma City Thunder
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The Thunder won 59 games this season and did so without Russell Westbrook for 36 games due to injury. Kevin Durant picked up the slack and became the NBA MVP, but once again, Oklahoma City came up short in the postseason. The problem that has plagued the team the past two seasons (lack of a third scorer) reared its ugly head once again as the Thunder lost to the Spurs in six games in the Western Conference Finals.

Orlando Magic: C

Orlando Magic
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Orlando Magic: C

Orlando Magic
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The Magic were another team that wasn't expected to do much this season. Orlando won just 23 games in the second year of their rebuilding plan. Arron Afflalo was the brightest spot for Orlando, but rookie Victor Oladipo was strong as a rookie and Nikola Vucevic continued to get better and better. The Magic will have to make some progress next season or else the team will be rebuilding once again.

Philadelphia 76ers: C+

Philadelphia 76ers
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Philadelphia 76ers: C+

Philadelphia 76ers
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In one sense, the Philadelphia 76ers overachieved despite winning just 19 games. With a roster that lacked talent across the board and tying the record for the most consecutive losses in a season, the 76ers are at least going in the right direction. Even if they stunk this season, the 76ers showed that they have some young talent. This grade would even be higher if they were able to get the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft lottery.

Phoenix Suns: A

Phoenix Suns
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Phoenix Suns: A

Phoenix Suns
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Jeff Hornacek and the Phoenix Suns may have just been the best example of overachieving in NBA history. They were projected for less than 20 wins this season and were one of the favorites to "tank", but the Suns managed to win 48 games in a loaded Western Conference before coming just short of the playoffs. Aside from Goran Dragic, the talent on the roster seemingly had no business coming anywhere near 48 wins.

Portland Trail Blazers: A-

Portland Trail Blazers
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Portland Trail Blazers: A-

Portland Trail Blazers
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Portland began the season 24-5 and won 54 games in the tough Western Conference. LaMarcus Aldridge quieted all doubts about him as a legitimate star, Damian Lillard made the leap to All-Star status and Terry Stotts revived his career after his failure as the Hawks head coach. Portland may have been dominated by the Spurs in the second round of the playoffs, but the Blazers still had a terrific season.

Sacramento Kings: D-

Sacramento Kings
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Sacramento Kings: D-

Sacramento Kings
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The Kings seemingly do this every year. With some real talent on their roster, including several NBA lottery picks, Sacramento stayed in the cellar of the Western Conference. The Kings won only 28 games despite having All-Star caliber players in Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. The team is back where they have been the past six seasons with no hope and no chance at contending anytime soon.

San Antonio Spurs: A

San Antonio Spurs
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San Antonio Spurs: A

San Antonio Spurs
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Gregg Popovich guided a San Antonio Spurs team that was shattered by a Game 7 loss in the NBA Finals last season to the best record in the NBA (62-20) this season, and did so despite no player on the roster playing even 30 minutes per game. The Spurs are well on their way to exacting revenge on the team that tormented them last season in Miami and could easily have swept the Miami Heat if not for a Game 2 collapse in the NBA Finals.

Toronto Raptors: B+

Toronto Raptors
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Toronto Raptors: B+

Toronto Raptors
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In the East, the Toronto Raptors went from a mediocre team in the East to a team that won the Atlantic division with 48 wins and a home-court series in round one. Both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan had career years, and Jonas Valanciunas also had a breakout campaign. Coach Dwane Casey has a team that has the potential to get even better in 2015. A Game 7 loss to Brooklyn in the first round at home, however, was disappointing.

Utah Jazz: C-

Utah Jazz
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Utah Jazz: C-

Utah Jazz
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The Utah Jazz were yet another example of a team that wasn't expected to do much this season, and they didn't, winning just 25 games. Unfortunately for Jazz fans, Utah was bound for the NBA Draft lottery from day one, and that’s where they eventually landed. Things should get better next season as Tyrone Corbin is no longer with the team and the Jazz have a top-5 pick in this year's NBA draft.

Washington Wizards: A

Washington Wizards
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Washington Wizards: A

Washington Wizards
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Last but not least, the Washington Wizards had a great season. Not only did the Wizards make the postseason after a five-year drought, but they did some major damage. After dethroning the Bulls in just five games, the Wizards gave the top-seeded Pacers a run for their money, extending that series to six games before losing. With a young backcourt in John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards will only get better down the road.

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