Saturday, January 21, 2012

Initial Feedback: Cleveland Rocked

Initial feedback: A completely subjective and immediate response to the events of tonight's game, featuring a comment and rating, the latter on a scale of 1 to 10, on every player who saw the floor and the head coach, along with ephemera and miscellany as the author deems necessary.

Your ratings and commentary, dear reader, are welcomed in the comments to this post.



Jeff Teague
: At some point I'll get over this but I watched god knows how many hours of Mike Bibby over the past two season and Jamal Crawford last season (Crawford was sublime in his first season courtesy of Mike Woodson, lead guard whisperer, but Larry Drew overused him, last season, as an instrument as blunt as Woodson's switching defense) for no good reason. Teague is not great. He's good. He's useful. If Kirk Hinrich doesn't get hurt in Game 6 against the Magic, we still wouldn't have proof. 7/10

Josh Smith: Struggled, to say the least, from the field, but how good did the offense look when Smith caught the ball int he post, drew defenders, and found the open man. Joe Johnson spotting up and taking the open shot a teammate creates for him is a much more sustainable strategy than Joe Johnson creating a shot off the dribble. The variety of Smith's contributions are wonderful as well. 7.5/10

Joe Johnson: Not to be flip, but Anthony Parker isn't Andre Iguodala. 8/10

Marvin Williams: If I had any confidence that Marvin could build on this performance and/or be encouraged to build on this performance in Milwaukee and San Antonio next week, I'd be excited. I'm not excited. Curious at most. 6/10

Zaza Pachulia: A couple minutes into the third quarter, Zaza had more points, offensive rebounds, and assists in this game than Jason Collins had in 88 minutes (entering the game) this season. By all means, start Collins against the Magic to frustrate Dwight Howard and encourage the Hawks to play sensible team defense. But let's not forget which healthy center is, in all other circumstances, the superior option. 7/10

Tracy McGrady: It's in everyone's best interests for McGrady to pace himself on a night like this. 4/10

Vladimir Radmanovic: It's only the Cavs, but Radmanovic demonstrated why he has to shoot when he catches. For best results, he should probably also not be asked to guard guys as big, young, and athletic as Tristan Thompson. 4/10

Jannero Pargo: Not to damn with faint praise, but Pargo has done as well as could have been reasonably expected in Hinrich's absence. I'd like to see him stick around as an asymmetrical threat on those nights when nothing goes according to plan. 4/10

Willie Green: Willie Green has a long history of comfortably below average NBA play to his name. Kirk Hinrich is going to take some, if not most, of his minutes relatively soon. That being said, if you're trying to create a culture of accountability, why would you not give someone, even someone as limited as Green, a solid first half run against the Cavs, at home, on the second night of a back-to-back, the night after he scored 14 of your team's 76 points, the night after you claimed your team quit on you? 3/10

Ivan Johnson: Didn't do anything special but still made a good argument for being the third guy in the post rotation in typical situations. He remains a fun and good signing. 4/10

Jason Collins: I guess he needs some game action to stay in shape for that mid-February matchup against the Magic, but he remains the least qualified garbage time player in the history of basketball. Approximately. 1/10

Jerry Stackhouse: The longest and least celebrated farewell tour in the history of the NBA? 1/10

Donald Sloan: I'm shocked I've never been compelled to make a Donald Sloan in place of Jannero Pargo argument on the basis of just because he's Jannero Pargo. Tough luck for Sloan. 1/10

The head coach
Blowing out a bad team at home isn't going to quell doubts about last night's postgame reaction but blowing out a bad team shouldn't be taken for granted, either. Perhaps some positive reinforcement of the theoretically best and tightest rotation results. Maybe keeping Jannero Pargo instead of Jerry Stackhouse becomes more likely. Maybe someone notices that the Hawks took a bunch of jump shots but took about half of them from beyond the arc. 6/10

A thought regarding the opposition
I very much hope that Tristan Thompson didn't suffer a serious ankle injury in the last couple minutes. If he did, and Byron Scott left him out on the court to hobble around on one leg, that's a firing offense. It didn't look good to me.

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