Saturday, January 14, 2012

Initial Feedback: Comeback

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: Checking Ricky Rubio was a challenge for Teague, and Jeff did commit six turnovers, but he was awfully strong with the ball in his hands and was the one constant on the floor during the comeback and finish. 7/10

Joe Johnson: As long as opponents send the unqualified likes of Tyrus Thomas and Wesley Johnson at him, he can pick up his share of the offensive slack caused by Al Horford's absence. His unusually strong effort on the glass the last two games deserves commendation as well. 7/10

Marvin Williams: I hope his minutes were limited because he's not all the way back from his ankle injury. A healthy Marvin Williams shouldn't split minutes with Tracy McGrady, much less Willie Green. Eight rebounds in less than 19 minutes. 6/10

Josh Smith: It's no embarrassment to be outplayed by Kevin Love, not even to the degree Love outplayed Smith tonight. It's just one game. To be outplayed so thoroughly by Ivan Johnson, purely on the basis of Johnson's effort and his unwillingness to do stupid things explains why "the Hawks can be a player in free agency after Josh Smith's contract expires" exists as a scenario. If Josh Smith had played more tonight, the Hawks would have lost. 3/10

Zaza Pachulia: Made Darko look more pedestrian than normal. Fought Pekovic to a draw. 4/10

Ivan Johnson: Saved the team's bacon, down to the final possession, where he turned Joe Johnson's inability to create off the dribble against a set defense and Josh Smith's overwhelming ability to locate the lowest-percentage shot possible for himself into the game-winning points. Stood up to Kevin Love on both ends of the floor. Didn't always win that battle, but he fought it and his willingness to do so changed the course of the game. 7/10

Vladimir Radmanovic: He looks so much better on a good team, where his basketball instincts and quick hands can contribute even when he's not making shots. Would be nice if he made more shots. 4/10

Willie Green: It's great that those fourth quarter shots went in, but I suspect that will only precipitate him taking shots like those in a future game and getting more typical results. Sort of like how Josh Smith's relative hot streak as a jump shooter informed his performance tonight. 5/10

Jason Collins: Despite attempting three set shots and fumbling an in-bounds pass to Ricky Rubio under the Hawks basket, Collins had a positive impact on the game because Minnesota's zone offense was terrible and they didn't force him to defend in space when matched up against Kevin Love. Apparently Rick Adelman didn't watch the playoffs last season. Jason Collins isn't going to let Kevin Love score in the post. 4/10

Jannero Pargo: Still a dark horse to be cut before contracts become guaranteed, but his stints are becoming so short, you'd think he was a young point guard the Hawks drafted in the first round. 1/10

Donald Sloan: Given 72 seconds' opportunity to play hard. Mission accomplished. 1/10

The head coach
You're not going to brag about needing to make drastic adjustments to get back in a home game against the Timberwolves, but you get credit for stealing a win from unlikely circumstances. And, with the win, gets the benefit of the doubt regarding Marvin Williams' minutes. 7/10

A thought regarding the opposition
Clearly two-fifths of the way to a starting lineup.


Justin Knowles said...

Brett, love the new format you're using this year for game recaps. Question: Why have you been picking on Willie Green so much? I'm not a fan of his and don't expect too much out of him, but his shooting percentages are as good as any guard on the team and he's got a respectable PER for a rotation player, around 13. Just curious.

Bronnt said...

It's actually hard to imagine Ivan Johnson having a better performance than he did tonight. He faced probably the best PF in the game and didn't back down, and matched him pretty well when they were on the floor. He also avoided his two principle flaws, not fouling prodigiously nor turning the ball over even once.

The only things he can do to improve upon this performance are to integrate himself into the half-court offense and find a way to contribute. He has done everything necessary to earn his 20ish minutes per game, and he's done it on a playoff team with a history of never utilizing D-League players.

Bret LaGree said...

Justin --

Willie Green's season-to-date PER and eFG% would both set career highs. He has, over the last couple of weeks, generally played well off the bench. 1) I don't expect it to continue and 2) He should never take minutes away from a healthy Marvin Williams.

Willie Green's good performances should be received as a gift and expectations for him should remain muted.

pointguardslim said...

If the bigger Horford had driven that would have been a charge.

Justin Knowles said...

Sorry for misspelling your name... Ok, I can follow your reasoning. He shouldn't be taking minutes from Marvin. Totally agree. And he's playing above his career norms and better than we should expect. Agreed. I don't want the fact that he's playing above his career averages to obscure his contributions. Who knows? Maybe he'll have a career year.