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: An uneven performance like this, especially in the zone offense, stokes regret over the developmental opportunities wasted the past two seasons. I don't think the good plays outweighed the bad today, but the desire to make good plays never wavered. 5/10
Joe Johnson: His relentless attacks on Jose Calderson in the Toronto zone in the third quarter was as positive a key to the victory as anything. The three shots he blocked should not be overlooked, either. Johnson blocked 12 shots in a little over 5400 minutes over the last two seasons. 9/10
Marvin Williams: Thus far, his return to to active duty has been all setup, no punchline. Take it away, Gareth. I guess he has to make some shots in order to be able to stay on the court, continue getting to the foul line and grabbing rebounds. 5/10
Josh Smith: At this point, the Hawks just need to get him 20 or more shots a game to dilute the effects of the jump shots he is going to take no matter what. I resolve to stop marking him based on an idealized version of Josh Smith who understands his strengths and weaknesses and to begin marking him on whether or not he makes the shots he attempts. Thankfully, there's no shot selection element to rebounding, which has been excellent as his free throw shooting has been poor this season. 8/10
Jason Collins: I don't know why he started both halves. Perhaps, after the Timberwolves game, Larry Drew was curious if bad teams knew that Collins couldn't defend the pick-and-roll. 2/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: I don't know why he didn't play in the first half nor wy he was assigned to guard Leandro Barbosa in the third quarter. Nice shooting. 3/10
Zaza Pachulia: Another very solid supporting performance. Al Horford is efficient, but he's not 6 points on 0 field goal attempts efficient. 4/10
Tracy McGrady: His performance was fine and his return welcome, but if that's all Tracy McGrady can play, then Tracy McGrady doesn't need to be playing this early in the season. 4/10
Willie Green: If you absolutely, positively have to have somebody less likely to score and far, far less likely to grab a rebound than Marvin Williams on the court for the entire fourth quarter, then Willie Green's your man. Today was the third time this season that Green has played at least 18 minutes in a game without grabbing a rebound. And people worried about replacing Jamal Crawford. 2/10
Ivan Johnson: Still fun, but it was not a good day for America's banned in Korea sweetheart on either end of the floor. His matador defense on DeMar DeRozan's fourth quarter layup was the nadir. 2/10
Jannero Pargo: Was +8 in 5:12 and a little over an hour after his appearance, I have no memory of it. 2/10
The head coach
My not understanding does not constitute a valid criticism, much less a coherent and incisive one. I don't get a lot of what Larry Drew did in this game and don't really want to replay the game with Josh Smith taking ten long, two-point jumpers and counting on the Raptors to miss 9 of 12 shots in the paint in the fourth quarter. A win's a win and style points are going to be rare this season. 6/10
A thought regarding the opposition