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: And the Heat thought they were dumb for insisting on playing Mike Bibby last season. 8/10
Joe Johnson: Considering the opposition, easily his best offensive game of the season. The zone defense seems to suit him, as well. He stepped up with some better-than-normal on-the-ball defense in the second half. 8/10
Marvin Williams: The Hawks took the lead in the third quarter on back-to-back Marvin Williams buckets created by him cutting into the lane to receive passes from Horford and Smith. At some point, the need his good play simultaneous with McGrady's in the fourth quarter. 6/10
Josh Smith: A terrible first quarter. Took three quick, early, long jumpers, one right-handed jump hook, got beaten for two dunks by Chris Bosh on slip screens, and appeared to spend the first two timeouts telling his teammates what they needed to be doing. The rest of his game came around but he couldn't resist the terrible shots. 5/10
Al Horford: Maybe the ability to create your own shot is overrated. Not really, but you can be awfully good player with that weakness if you do everything else well. 9/10
Tracy McGrady: Doesn't do much for three quarters, besides irritatingly spotting up just inside the three-point line. Then, in the fourth, he's all over the defensive glass and knocks down three spot-up three-pointers. 7/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: Gifted an extended second half stint courtesy of Josh Smith's shot selection, he couldn't buy a bucket but remained active on the glass and contributed to the fourth quarter defensive effort. 4/10
Jannero Pargo: 8 points on 5 shots in 12 minutes is the upside of Pargo's willingness to shoot the ball. 4/10
Zaza Pachulia: A concentrated burst of points, rebounds, and blatantly fouling Udonis Haslem. I'd rather Zaza be on the court, but his overexuberance didn't hurt the team tonight. 4/10
Willie Green: He's genuinely unpleasant to watch when the Hawks have the ball, but he was on the court for the big run at the start of the fourth quarter and part of a great team defensive effort. 3/10
The head coach
Went to the bench early, put them in a zone defensively, and kept the game in hand when it threatened to get away. Josh Smith's insistence on taking terrible shots reflects poorly on Drew but the rest of his frontcourt players' inability to finish at the rim early in the game isn't on him. Demerits for the team's disorganized start, many, many more credits for making early adjustments that worked. 9/10
A thought regarding the opposition
Despite the Hawks win and Al Horford's great performance, I don't regret picking Chris Bosh as the better player at The Heat Index this morning. In the half-court offense, Chris Bosh's movement without the ball was unquestionably the best thing going for them. The Atlanta defenders, whether playing man-to-man or zone, couldn't keep track of him. More of that and less of Dwyane Wade shooting jumpers on the left side of the floor, and the Hawks would have hand their hands full.