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: Aggressive offensively and took advantage of Hinrich guarding Westbrook to be an active help defender. 6/10
Kirk Hinrich: Easily his best game of the season. Not only because he made some shots for once but also because he generally kept Russell Westbrook in front of him. If Westbrook makes jump shots, you tip your cap to him. You've taken away the best part of his game. 6/10
Marvin Williams: Did a good enough job of Kevin Durant that Scott Brooks went small after Kendrick Perkins fouled out to make Josh Smith guard Durant. Was great defensively down the stretch when Drew put him back on Durant. The five free throws made up for another poor shooting night from the field. 6/10
Josh Smith: Shooting an airball from the top of the key, dunking on Serge Ibaka, then barely drawing iron on the free throw is the most Josh Smith offensive possession ever. The three-pointer that put the Hawks up 92-88 (after completely failing to close out on Durant on the other end) doesn't even compete. Pretty inefficient offensively for three quarters but the Hawks can get away with that when he (mostly) stays on the block and Joe Johnson* is not going down the same path while using another quarter of the team's possessions. 9/10
Zaza Pachulia: His nine offensive rebounds were essentially the difference between this game and so many other losses against good teams this season. 6/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: It's borderline cruel to ask him to guard Durant. All Radmanovic can do in that is knock down shots to mitigate what he's going to give up on the other end. He did. 4/10
Jannero Pargo: Take shots, make shots. Rinse, repeat. 4/10
Ivan Johnson: Hadn't played 20 minutes in a game in almost a month, but contributed solid minutes to the cause tonight. 3/10
Jerry Stackhouse: Got some more first half run by virtue of Hinrich receiving the Horford Treatment. The four first half assists he earned showed his instincts are intact. In every other respect, his body showed its age. The fascination with posting up a 37-year-old who hasn't been a rotation player in four years baffles me. 1/10
Tracy McGrady: Less then 24 hours after his key role in a fourth quarter comeback win, his body gives out on a futile drive to the basket. Not someone you can count on, which makes those nights he contributes rather bittersweet. Incomplete
The head coach
This Larry Drew's team. Can play with anybody when the jump shots go in and/or the opposition can't attack the defense with the pick-and-roll (the hands of the firm of Perkins, Collison, and Aldrich aided Atlanta's cause tonight). It was a high-effort, physical, and scrappy game. The Hawks have to drag teams down to their one point per possession offensive level (to be fair, the Hawks scored 1.039 points per possession tonight, the first time they've broken the one point per possession barrier since the win in Phoenix) to win. They've done that in three of the last four. 6/10
A thought regarding the opposition
Beating the team with the best record in the NBA despite a third of your roster being hurt is pretty sweet but it can't compare to the joy of beating a team that willingly employs and plays Royal Ivey.
A game ball to everyone who entertained the Thunder last night, as well.
*At this point, does the contract look worse on the nights Joe Johnson plays or on the nights he sits out?