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.
Josh Smith: The shot selection (11 jump shots) was terrible at times. Given the victory, that makes his production (30 points on 23 shots, 17 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks) even more incredible. Not as incredible as the Hawks going completely away from him on the block in the final two minutes in favor of Joe Johnson dribbling, but still awfully fascinating. His final inbounds pass was an absolute disaster, saved entirely by Willie Green. 9/10
Jeff Teague: Was no more effective against Phoenix's pick-and-roll this time around but his concerted effort to outscore Steve Nash mitigated matters. Unfortunate he didn't get back in the game once the Hawks went zone on every possession. 5/10
Zaza Pachulia: Just like Teague, Zaza flailed in his efforts to defend the pick-and-roll but scored a bunch a points to try and make up for it. 5/10
Joe Johnson: Utterly dominated by Grant Hill. Utterly and uselessly dominated the ball to let Phoenix back in the game in the final two minutes. Whatever it was that made him rebound for a spell following Al Horford's injury has disappeared. Nary a one in 36 minutes against the 25th-best rebounding team in the league. 3/10
Marvin Williams: He can't get minutes when Tracy McGrady is in street clothes. The modest skills he brings to the table aren't important to this franchise. Which makes his contract only more mind-bending. 4/10
Willie Green: As ambivalent a 20 points performance off the bench as you'll see. Excellent shooting, terrible everything else. EXCEPT for chasing down Josh Smith's pass with 1.7 seconds left. If Green doesn't do that, it's Phoenix ball under Atlanta's basket. 6/10
Kirk Hinrich: Credit for his defense on Nash in the second half on the rare possessions where the Hawks played man-to-man defense but I really wish he'd had his surgery earlier. He's missing a ton of good, open shots. 3/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: Didn't play at all in the first half. Played 15 minutes in the second half. Hardly encouraging work conditions. 2/10
Ivan Johnson: Generally overwhelmed by the pace of play. 1/10
Erick Dampier: Was not the answer to defending the pick-and-roll. On the other hand, watching him play makes me feel so spry and youthful. 2/10
The head coach
Not a lot of what Larry Drew did tonight made sense but the Hawks won, in no small part, because he went zone for much of the second half. That it took so long to appear, or that the Hawks needed to try everything, both tactical and in terms of personnel, to barely beat the Suns takes a bit off the shine of the victory. 4/10
A thought regarding the opposition
Check the Daily Dime later tonight for a breakdown of the Phoenix offense comparing the possessions Nash used and those his teammates used.