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.
Joe Johnson: The two bursts during which Johnson scored most of his 24 points were crucial but let's not overlook his sudden ability to rebound which has emerged since Al Horford left the scene. Another blocked shot, too. He's almost matched his total from the 2009-10 season in the last two games. 8/10
Josh Smith: He's a good player even when the jump shots aren't falling. The combination of 11 defensive rebounds and his post defense against LaMarcus Aldridge were definite difference makers tonight. 8/10
Marvin Williams: It's getting ridiculous. 12 points and 8 rebounds in just 21 minutes. There's essentially no level of production possible to get Williams above 25 minutes in a game if Tracy McGrady is healthy enough to go. Ivan Johnson's a nice addition but he shouldn't be getting fourth quarter minutes ahead of Marvin Williams. 6/10
Jeff Teague: If only the Hawks had been willing to pay the luxury tax to keep Jamal Crawford, Teague would be sitting next to Marvin Williams on the bench int he fourth quarter instead of scoring five points and earning an assist in the final two minutes of a close victory over a good team. To be fair, Crawford committed four fewer turnovers than Teague tonight and scored seven more points, only needing 17 more field goal attempts than Teague to do so. 6/10
Jason Collins: Your guess is as good as mine. Made Kurt Thomas look productive and agile. 1/10
Zaza Pachulia: 11 rebounds are good enough to aid a winning cause but probably not good enough to earn a start. The former is far more important. 5/10
Tracy McGrady: A solid return. He wasn't as effective as Marvin and shouldn't have played as many minutes for that reason alone. I'd rather grade this performance after I know when he's physically able to play again. 5/10
Jannero Pargo: The three turnovers were unfortunate but you put Jannero Pargo in the game to take shots frequently for a brief period of time. Tonight, he made those shots. 4/10
Willie Green: Another night without a rebound. No matter his own numbers, Tracy McGrady's return lessens the chances of extended Willie Green minutes. There's value in that. 2/10
Ivan Johnson: At some point he needs to bring something more than energy to justify a rotation spot. 2/10
The head coach
He's tying one hand behind his back by limiting Marvin Williams' minutes. Here's hoping it doesn't take a loss to enact change. The team's record suggests that doing inexplicable things around the margins of the rotation doesn't really matter much when Joe Johnson is making loads of shots and Josh Smith is dominating the glass. Talent over everything. 7/10