By James Goeders
Initial feedback: A completely subjective response to the events of the 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: Attacked the basket all night with great flashes of energy, but along with the rest of his teammates just could not get the lay-ups to fall consistently. Was the leading scorer for the Hawks with 17. Had two threes but only two assists. 5/10
Marvin Williams: Played great help defense on Kobe all night. Grabbed 6 rebounds but was only able to contribute 4 points in 25 minutes of action. Drew decided to go with VladRad over Marvin to try and increase the Hawks' size inside, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference who was in the game as Gasol and Bynum combined for 35 points and 28 rebounds. 3/10
Joe Johnson: Very quiet night for Joe as he was only 7-of-17 from the floor and 1-for-8 from 3, but he did score his 10,000th point as a Hawk. Added 5 assists, but was most useful when facing up against Kobe. Held the NBA's leading scorer to his lowest output of the season (10). If only a few of those three pointers had gone in... 4/10
Josh Smith: Started the game on fire as he was 6-for-11 in the first half. Cooled off in a bad way in the 2nd half with only a single field goal. Unable to slow down Gasol and Bynum even though he played with energy while the game was still in doubt. Another game where having Horford around might have opened things up inside for Josh. 4/10
Zaza Pachulia: Zaza just was overmatched on both sides of the court having only a single point in 27 minutes. Was able to grab 9 rebounds, but his inability to slow down the Lakers' big men was the story of the game. On the bright side, Zaza did have a season high 4 steals. 2/10
Willie Green: Not horrible, as Green had 6 points in 11 minutes. His made jumper early in the 4th ended a greater than 9 minute scoreless streak for the Hawks. 2/10
Erick Dampier: If Damp can get his legs back he should be a decent replacement for Jason Collins (though if you follow this blog regularly you'll know that's not really saying much). Didn't score any points but grabbed 4 boards in 16 minutes. Had a few point-blank shots that just wouldn't fall. 2/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: Being back in the Staples Center seemed to help VladRad find his stroke from 3 as he went 3-for-6 from behind the arc. Also grabbed 6 rebounds in the most minutes he has played in a game since early January when the Hawks blew out Charlotte. 4/10
Tracy McGrady: T-Mac attacked the basket but could not seem to draw any foul calls when the contact came. Had 5 points and 6 rebounds in 15 minutes, but not a single steal or assist. The second team offense always seems to run smoother when it goes through McGrady. 3/10
Kirk Hinrich: Another player who had a quiet game offensively. Only played 14 minutes (the least he's played since only playing 13 in his first game back with the team on January 25th in San Antonio) and had 5 points, 2 boards, and 2 assists. 2/10
The head coach
Drew realized Zaza was overmatched early on and brought in Dampier at the 6 minute mark of the 1st Quarter. Interesting that while no one was effective against Bynum or Gasol that Drew never brought in Ivan Johnson. Perhaps his atrocious game against the Heat was a big part of that, though it's questionable if the 6'8" forward could have done any better than the guys in the game.
A thought regarding the opposition
On a night where Kobe was held to a season low 10 points and as a team the Lakers only shot 9 free throws, you wouldn't expect them to get such an easy win. Though the stat sheet will show they only out-rebounded the Hawks 52-47, they absolutely dominated inside. Los Angeles held Atlanta to 34.4% shooting from the floor and took advantage of 20 missed 3-pointers by the Hawks while shooting 8-for-17 from behind the arc. This is not an elite Lakers team like we saw from 2008-2010, but they have enough veteran talent that if their young guys get it together they certainly can make a run in the Western Conference.