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: Jeff looked really good against the 5'9" Isiah Thomas, scoring 16 points (shooting 7-for-11 from the floor) with 7 assists and 3 steals. Made the only 3 he took and had a sick dunk off of a turnover. 7/10
Joe Johnson: In the first half it looked like the knee was still bothering Joe a great deal as he started 1-for-7. He did have 6 assists, but at times seemed timid and too willing to give up the ball. Totally turned that around in the 2nd half finishing with 21 points (his highest point total since January 31 against Toronto). Made all 9 FT attempts which was vital in the final minute to preserve the victory. 7/10
Kirk Hinrich: Hinrich got the start at the 2 even with Joe back in the lineup to try and match the smaller size Sacramento put on the court. Finished with 12 points (helped by 2-of-5 shooting from behind the arc), 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Played 42 minutes (the most of any player) and was most useful defensively as Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton were both held way below their ppg averages. 6/10
Josh Smith: Tonight was precisely why the Hawks cannot afford to trade J-Smoove. Josh led all scorers with 28 points, 19 coming in the 2nd half. The 3rd quarter was all Josh, Joe, and Jeff as they scored 26 of the Hawks 29 points (Vlad Rad hit the 3). Smoove kept playing aggressive and when he was double-teamed did a great job of finding the open man (which was usually Joe Johnson standing alone at the 3 point line) resulting in 3 assists. Did work on defense getting 3 blocks and 3 steals. Still took too many jumpers (FIVE 3 pointers!), but finished shooting 57% from the floor 9/10
Zaza Pachulia: Zaza was a beast in the first half, recording a double double with 4 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter. Was outmatched at times by the 6'11" 270 lb Cousins, but grabbed 13 rebounds to go with his 10 points. Disappeared in the 2nd half when he got into foul trouble, but Marvin and VladRad were able to give quality minutes 7/10
Marvin Williams: Marvin didn't get the start tonight, but had a great game off of the bench finishing with 12 points and 5 rebounds in 24 minutes. Marvin showed incredible effort in the 2nd quarter with the second team. One of the biggest plays of the night was Marvin's steal that he took coast-to-coast and finished with a dunk and an and-1 that fouled out DeMarcus Cousins. Was vital in the final minute when Zaza fouled out and Drew decided to put Marvin at the 4 and Josh at the 5. 8/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: Was a beast off of the bench grabbing 10 rebounds in only 16 minutes of work. Only had 5 points, but was much more useful battling under the hoop. 5/10
Jannero Pargo: Had two just ridiculously bad turnovers in his 7 minutes of action, all coming in the first half. Had one made basket and one horrible airball. Was the only Hawks player with a negative plus/minus (-5) to further demonstrate how bad those 7 minutes were. 1/10
Erick Dampier: Damp came in to spell Zaza for 6 minutes in the first half and did not take a single shot. He was able to grab 2 rebounds to go with an assist and a block. incomplete
The head coach Leaving Marvin on the bench to start the game and going with 3 guards seemed questionable at tipoff. It was even more questionable when the Kings scored 12 of their first 14 points in the paint. However, Marvin seemed to get a spark coming in at the 3:03 mark of the 1st quarter, and for just the second time in the last 31 games all 5 starters scored double figures for the Hawks. Going small obviously worked to slow down the Kings' guards.
A thought regarding the opposition
The Kings are a young team that show it with their carelessness with the basketball. They're dangerous from behind the arc and get a ton of minutes from their bench. Cousins is going to be a stud.