By Mark Phelps
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: Teague's woes this game echoed the team's first-half play: erratic, out-of-control, missed defensive assignments, and an unwillingness to attack the basket against a clearly inferior team. Showed a spark before going down with an ankle injury. 2/10
Joe Johnson: You would think by now a seasoned vet like Joe should know that when your shot isn't falling, you can still affect the game in other ways. Not so for Johnson in the first half, as his lackluster 1-9 shooting was accented by only one assist, one rebound, and no steals. Joe turned in the opposite performance in the 2nd half, scoring 10 in the first eight minutes of the 3rd quarter and 30 overall, while also facilitating offense for others. Got to play hero at the end of regulation with an amazing 3, then led the attack while the Hawks sealed the win in overtime. 8/10
Josh Smith: Once again, Josh fell in love with the jumper. They were not always falling, but he provided solid D, great rebounding and assist totals, and capitalized on the opportunity to throw a nail-in-the-coffin 3 in. 7/10
Marvin Williams: Marvin showed off some very efficient basketball. He was 6-9 from the field (five threes) with 8 rebounds and a huge 3 toward the end of the game for 22 points (season high). This was his first game this season where he reached 35 minutes, and he really showed what he could do with his time. 8/10
Zaza Pachulia: Zaza was extremely effective down low and attacking the glass, and capitalized on Detroit's late lack of post defense. Was always in the right place to receive the easy bucket. 7/10
Kirk Hinrich: Hinrich picked up all the available minutes from Teague's injury in only his second game back. While his shot wasn't perfect, he still picked up a team-high 9 assists. 5/10
Tracy McGrady: T-Mac provided the only hot hand in the first half and really picked the team up when it was struggling. He was the only Hawk during that time to effectively create his own shot and create for others. Really making Sund look great for that signing. 7/10
Jason Collins: Collins contributed on the glass, but mostly looked lost on defense. 2/10
Willie Green: Hit his lone shot and played reasonable defense while on the floor, but thankfully didn't receive too many minutes. Pretty much exactly what you need from Green. 3/10
Ivan Johnson: Seemed to have a difficult time knowing where he should be on the floor and got burned a few times. Contributed on the glass and was strong to the hoop on one play, but it seemed Drew realized that Ivan was outmatched when on the floor and he received his second-fewest minutes in the past 10 games. 2/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: Barely stepped on the floor and wasn't a factor in the game. 1/10
The head coach
Drew may have finally realized what most of us have: Marvin will need extended minutes, especially in light of Horford's injury. Drew should be credited with drawing up some good plays down the stretch, but mostly the Hawks were capitalizing on mistakes by the Pistons, and Drew's inability to adjust to the Pistons early lane attack was what helped dig the hole in the first place. And Jason Maxiell goes off for 19? -1 for that alone. 5/10
A thought regarding the opposition
The Pistons seem to me like the Hawks of the mid-2000s, a team full of forwards and more talent than sense. That showed clearly tonight, as mental mistakes clearly cost them this game. Greg Monroe has a bright future in front of him, and if Brandon Knight can find his shooting stroke, they have an edge on those old Hawks teams by having a legitimate floor general. That said, only 3 Pistons have a PER over 15 (Monroe and Stuckey being the only ones who played tonight), so you can bet it will be a long rebuilding process.