Thursday, January 05, 2012

Initial Feedback: Fourth Draft Thereof

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.


Boxscore

Players
Jeff Teague: Despite struggling from the floor and the line, Teague was worse defensively. If he consistently gets in the paint and to the line, he'll score. If he can't stay in front of Mario Chalmers or Terrel Harris, he'll have to get in the paint and to the line just to keep up. 3/10

Joe Johnson: Typically mildly productive and inefficient offensive performance but should be embarrassed by Terrel Harris's seven offensive rebounds, grabbing only two rebounds in almost 50 minutes, or his two off-the-ball fouls in overtime. 5/10

Marvin Williams: Without consistent minutes, can't be expected to provide consistent production. Didn't make shots but was active on the glass. Deserves a greater benefit of the doubt. 4/10

Josh Smith: Keyed the third quarter comeback by dint of not shooting terrible shots for a spell. Didn't get back in the game for much of the fourth by dint of Ivan Johnson. Made a conscious decision to play no defense, just to point, on Bosh's layup that made it 90-92. Has generally rebounded and defended well this season. Has had a horrible start to the season overall. 2 of 7 from 16 feet and beyond tonight. 5/10

Al Horford: If he's unwilling to demand the ball and/or unable to do enough with it on the rare occasions he gets it, he's reasonably paid rather than a bargain. The consistent quality of his defense, rebounding, and low-usage efficiency separates him from his teammates. On a night like this, against the least of the Heat, that's damning with faint praise. 6/10

Tracy McGrady: Another wonderful performance reminiscent of late period, post-surgeries Danny Manning (whose last really good season came at the age of 32, during a lockout-shortened schedule). The only worry is that he appeared to be shut down during the first overtime. Not sure that bodes well for the long haul and the Hawks, as is, might be lost without him. 6/10

Willie Green: You can't knock a 14 point quarter. Let's hope he noticed the value of moving toward the basket before shooting. On the other hand, you can't ask Willie Green to play point guard in the NBA. 5/10

Ivan Johnson: Two wonderful, productive bursts of energy, then left out there to demonstrate his inexperience both times. 13 points and 4 rebounds are a lot in 21 minutes. So are five turnovers and six fouls. Could be a decent option if Josh Smith keeps taking terrible shots. Would love to see Johnson and Pachulia on the court together as the fan-favorite with two heads. 5/10

Zaza Pachulia: Didn't produce immediately. Either he's hurt or he has to produce immediately in order to get the minutes he deserves relative to the other options.2/10

Vladimir Radmanovic: Nice effort. Terrible shooting. Unfortunately, shooting is his primary talent. 2/10

Jannero Pargo: Three points in three minutes is, in the grand scheme of things, an excellent performance for Jannero Pargo. 2/10

Jason Collins: Has one skill. That skill wasn't needed. He played anyway. 1/10

The head coach
If the Hawks make free throws, the game's over midway through the fourth quarter. That's not on the coach. He's clearly not going to play Marvin Williams and McGrady at the same time. Willie Green at point guard and Jason Collins' second quarter stint made no sense but, again, making just 70% of their free throws papers over that eccentricity. It's a long season. Getting Josh Smith to stop taking jump shots, by any means necessary, is more important for the team's future. Ivan Johnson may be part of that.

I like Kyle Lowry a lot and hold out hope for Mario Chalmers. However, if the Hawks are bedeviled by those two, I think it's fair to assume that the team defense may be different, it may be better, but it's not going to be especially good. 5/10

6 comments:

hemant said...

i'm sorry, i know you like al horford a lot, but he deserves no better than a 2/10 for this game. can't score unless it's a putback or a wide open jumper, threw 3 or 4 terrible passes, didn't get to the line even once, failed to help on D and gave up easy layups 4 or 5 times. he played like a 2 guard in a center's body, which is what he is increasingly becoming.

Wesley M. said...

What an ugly, borderline unwatchable game. Most disturbing was Jeff Teague bad shooting night letting him negatively affect him defensively and Ivan Johnson outplaying Josh Smith/Vladimir Radmanovic/Zaza Pachulia. I think it's time Horford's usage increases because Josh and Joe have reverted to inefficient tendencies. In a word, ugh.

James Goeders said...

Totally nailed it on Teague, Horford, and J-Smoove. Really don't understand why Marvin and Zaza aren't getting more minutes right now. Hope Teague can revert back to the guy we saw in the playoffs and against New Jersey instead of the horrible effort we saw in the last two games.

Matt DeFore said...

It is the little things that separate victory from defeat in a tight game. With a 4 point lead and 10-15 seconds left in regulations how does the best player on the court shoot an uncontested layup. No excuse.

Larry Stewart said...

I think it's time for a blog roundtable on why you think Horford is so great. If it's relative to what you expect from Horford, then ok, but I agree with hemant - I watched the game twice and I don't see what you are seeing. Same for the 9/10 you gave him the other day. He hasn't had a 9/10 day for the Hawks in probably a year. I need to understand your scale. And I say that to you with the hope that you know I respect your opinion greatly on all things Hawks, but this love affair with Horford now needs further detail and explanation...

Bret LaGree said...

Larry --

I'd guess that our difference of opinion on Horford isn't much more than a matter of degree. He looks more unlikely every game that he has it in him to be the franchise player he flirted with becoming in the first half of last season. Maybe he's just going to be Buck Williams.

Still, he's been the most productive player on the team so far this season. McGrady and Marvin have slightly higher PERs but Horford's playing 7 more minutes a night than either. Not that closes the case.

His scoring and assists are off compared to last year, but turnovers are down and offensive rebounds are up. Defensive rebounds are down but blocks and steals are up.

He's not the help defender Josh Smith is but he's also out of position less often and spends less time standing around pointing at his teammates than Smith.

As for my scale, 6/10 roughly grades out as legit NBA starter.