By James Goeders
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: Teague played a ton of minutes but had a tough time from the floor only scoring 9 on 2-of-8 shooting. Jeff was able to dish out 8 assists and grab 5 rebounds, but he had a tough time defensively with Ty Lawson 4/10
Kirk Hinrich: Hinrich was huge in this game getting another start at the 2, but he mostly will be remembered for missing the free throw with 1.1 seconds remaining that would have given the Hawks the lead (his only miss from the line all night). Kirk had his first 20+ point game of the season (22) building on his strong March. Hinrich finished 7-of-8 from the floor (3-of-4 from behind the arc) and had 4 assists, but not a single rebound. 6/10
Joe Johnson: It was a weird game for Joe, as he started hot but the two early fouls got Pargo in much earlier than anyone would want. One might think that moving over to the 3 would get Joe more chances at rebounds, but he finished with only 2. His game high 34 points (including 6-of-10 from 3) were great, but there were stretches when Joe would dribble out the shot clock and leave the Hawks in a precarious situation. The final 2 minutes of regulation were particularly frustrating after an elite 2nd half. Kept the Hawks in it after Josh fouled out, but this doesn't feel like his team like it did before the break 8/10
Josh Smith: When the jumper is falling J-Smoove is unstoppable, and you get games like tonight. After a rough first quarter, Josh went off and finished with 33 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 blocks in 36 minutes of action. On top of that, Smoove hit 2-of-3 from behind the arc and all 5 free throw opportunities. Josh was beastly on both sides of the court and you could feel the energy leave the team when he fouled out with over a minute left in OT. 9/10
Zaza Pachulia: Zaza did work on the glass grabbing 13 rebounds, but the missed lay-in at the buzzer was all anyone will remember. The playcall was perfect but the shot just did not go down. With Ivan Johnson currently not available there is a huge hole defensively when Zaza is on the bench. His 45 minutes tonight will make things quite interesting tomorrow when he's chasing Blake Griffin around. 5/10
Marvin Williams: Another great night for Marvin off the bench as he was one of only four Hawks players in double figures. Amazing energy all over the court with 3 steals, 2 dimes, and 2 rebounds. Vital in the Hawks' run in the 3rd quarter. Marvin is finally aggressively going to the basket, and then he was knocked out of the game with a right hip injury. He came in as a decoy on the final possession of regulation, but it was quite disappointing to not have him down the stretch. 6/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: Definition of worthless tonight. Missed all four shots from the floor (all behind the arc) to finish with no points and four fouls. You'd think a guy playing 11 minutes at the 4/5 would luck into more than 2 rebounds. What has happened to this 3-point specialist? 1/10
Jannero Pargo: Joined VladRad as the two worst Hawks players in +/- finishing with a -11. Pargo was also mostly ineffective on the court making 1-of-5 shots and finishing with 3 points. He was able to grab 2 rebounds and dish out 3 assists making his night less of an abomination. Lost the inbounds pass with 9 seconds left off his knee giving Denver the opportunity to make the go-ahead 3 pointer. 2/10
Erick Dampier: Four completely irrelevant minutes 1/10
The head coach Tried throwing a number of different things at Denver to slow down their offense (going small, going to a zone, etc) and it should have led to the Hawks stealing one on the road. After giving up 64 points in the first half, the Hawks held Denver to 54 in the 2nd (including OT). It was good to see him pick up the technical defending Josh (and Marvin) who were both knocked to the ground by Nene in successive possessions. As short handed as the Hawks were, Coach Drew got all he could hope for from the starters and Marvin. Will be interesting to see what he can do tomorrow with so many guys playing 40+ minutes.
A thought regarding the opposition Gallinari's fade-away three to go up 1 at the end of regulation was just absurd. Denver has a weakness falling asleep inside on defense, and the Hawks drew up the perfect play to exploit it and win the game, and the shot just did not fall.