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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic player grades

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Late grades for a game the Cavs eked out.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was ugly. Here are your player grades for the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-103 win over the Orlando Magic. As a result of nobody on the team playing passable defense, the scale has shifted for the grades. The highest mark anybody can receive when playing just one end of the floor is B+. So here are the grades:

Jae Crowder: B+

Crowder was the only starter that was undoubtedly a positive force on what turned out to be a terrible night for the starters. He shot 4-5 from the floor and wasn’t a mess on the defensive end. Given how well he played, it’s strange he only logged 23 minutes of action.

Derrick Rose: B

Rose’s return to the rotation was about as successful as you could realistically hope for. While his defense was worse than all but Isaiah Thomas, he finished with nine points of 3-6 shooting, one assist and two turnovers, plus a team-high +5 on the night. The bench lineup had little to no shooting, but they gave the starters the final cushion that they could afford to blow and escape with a victory at the end.

Tristan Thompson: B

Thompson made one of the few defensive highlights of the night, contesting Elfrid Payton at the rim to seal the win for the Cavs. He finished with 6 points, 6 rebounds, a block and a steal in 17 minutes of play.

Jeff Green: B

It was an active night for Green, who was fifth on the team in minutes with 27. He put up 10 points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block during his time on the floor. While his activity may have factored into the reduced minutes for Crowder, I would argue that his minutes should have came at the expense of someone else in the starting lineup.

Dwyane Wade: B -

Whenever the bench is successful, Wade is the catalyst. While it took him 11 shots to get his 11 points, he was still a steadying force for the team.

Kyle Korver: B-

Poor Korver. The Cavs have had a tough time getting him shots at the same rate they did earlier in the year. Playing in the “we’re punting shooting” lineup alongside Rose, Wade, Green, and Thompson certainly didn’t help. He shot 1-2 on the night, but at least managed to contribute with 4 assists.

Isaiah Thomas: C+

It shouldn’t be surprising that Thomas was the weakest link on a bad night for the Cavs defense, but he did provide the team with some timely plays. The biggest play of his night was the make-up call he drew in the game’s final seconds and the subsequent free throws that won the game. He’s still finding his groove, but he is making an impact early into the start of his season.

LeBron James: C

LeBron talked about how he’d rather hit 30,000 career points on the weekend in front of his family, rather than on Thursday night. That was clear in his play, as he was often passive and finished with a lackluster 16 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. The Cavs offense fell apart in the second half, and James went just 2-7 in the second half. The team relies on him to set the tone, and he didn’t rise to the occasion in this matchup.

Kevin Love: C-

It was a poor effort from Love, who seemed frustrated and demonstrative at times on the court several times throughout the game. He accumulated 12 points and 11 rebounds on 3-10 shooting, but failed to capitalize on what should have been a favorable matchup for him against Aaron Gordon and Bismack Biyombo.

J.R. Smith: D

It’s truly remarkable how much faith the team has in Smith, given how poorly he’s played this year. His minutes have been consistently high, despite struggling all season long. It’s a shame, given how valuable Smith has been in the past. But the reality is, he is one of the main contributors to the team’s struggles at the moment.