Sunday, March 25, 2012

Initial Feedback: Who's Ready For a Day Off?

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: No one would have blamed the Hawks for packing it in, down five, just before Teague's and-one in the second overtime. A big bucket in a poor shooting night to that point. Credit due for Devin Harris shooting even worse. 6/10

Kirk Hinrich: For the second straight night, he was a big part of pulling the Hawks back into the game in the second half. 5/10

Joe Johnson: When a guy doesn't rely on athleticism so much as skill to score, perhaps he's better suited to maintain effectiveness when fatigued. Or maybe it's just not that hard to score against CJ Miles. His fatigue showed only in some of the passes he choose to make, not when the ball left his hand en route to the bottom of the net. 10/10

Josh Smith: Was a major defensive factor in the first half but, very understandably, didn't have much left in the tank after halftime. Given his play of late, he deserved to watch an entertaining basketball game as much as anyone. 7/10

Zaza Pachulia: A massive effort against Al Jefferson. Zaza struggled to guard him, but did everything he could to make up for that, including not sending Jefferson to foul line. 7/10

Marvin Williams: Like Hinrich, the Hawks don't get back in either of the last two games without Marvin Williams. He can still have a possession where he dribbles the ball off his person before throwing a pass off Zaza's face, but the Hawks are going to need rebounding and efficient scoring from Marvin in order to do anything in the postseason. 7/10

Willie Green: Couldn't initially rise to Hinrich's level but there was likely value, long-term in him sopping up some minutes and not just because Gordon Hayward seemed to really enjoy initiating Utah's offense while Green guarded him. Green looked relatively fresh in the fourth overtime. 4/10

Ivan Johnson: A second straight solid night off the bench. I say give him 20 minutes a night for the next couple weeks to see if a regular, defined role in the rotation suits him. You can't count on Tracy McGrafy's knee or Vladimir Radmanovic's back. Not really. 4/10

Jason Collins: A self-parody at this point. 1/10

The head coach
I get that he doesn't have a lot of good options, doesn't have a guaranteed contract for next season, and the Hawks (quite naturally) want home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Still, there are 16 games to be played over the next 32 days and I hope the very admirable effort evidenced tonight doesn't come back to bite the team down the stretch. 7/10

A thought regarding the opposition
Paul Millsap's pretty good but he's not nearly as tall as Solomon Jones.


mr. ice said...

Is it weird that I feel that we would have lost if hinrich/smith had stayed in the game?

Chuckman said...

I agree ice. Offense flowed much better. Defense not as solid, but I'll take that to keep Josh from shooting. 9-26 in 30 minutes of a 68 minute ot game.

A.Merkison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.Merkison said...

Josh had also played 126 minutes in the previous 3 nights combined. He was noticeably tired in the 2nd half, even though 2 of his fouls were very ticky-tack and questionable, he still played hard out there. Not gonna doubt his heart or how much he means to the team. He still came out of the game with 22 points, 10 boards and 6 assists(only 1 TO) even when missing so many shots and only playing 30 minutes.

The bigger issue was the majority of his shots were wide open(he missed 2 or 3 at the rim on what somehow weren't fouls). It's funny how finicky people are in weighing shooting stats(11 or 12-23 is a good shooting night, 9-23 is a "terrible" shooting night). The majority of his shots were fairly good looks and wide open, no lift in his legs in the 2nd half lead to several rim outs.

I don't agree with the assessment that Atlanta would have lost with him on the floor, because they started getting crushed when he left the game in the 3rd. It's not like any other Hawk was hitting shots in the 2nd half until those final 3 or 4 minutes of the 4th quarter, then Joe, Teague, Marvin and Willie hitting shots in 3rd and 4th OT.

Caster Lawson said...

A. Merkison there is a big difference in 12/23(53%), 11/23(48%) and 9/23(39%). Josh would shot 53% or better if he stopped shooting so many 3's and long 2's.

A.Merkison said...

You clearly didn't understand the point. He missed 3 shots from his "zone" that rolled out. He took WIDE OPEN shots for all but maybe 3 all game. In a scorers league, you simply cannot pass up open shots(with rare exception). Something Jeff Teague really needs to learn(stop passing up open 3's/long 2's to get heavily contested floaters at the rim). It'd be different if all the shots Josh took were just bad looks(and yes, as with always there were a few, but the majority of his looks were clean).

When they fall you're amazing, when they don't you're garbage. And actually, if you wan't to be completely semantically inclined about it, at such a small size of shots there actually isn't a whole hell of a lot of difference in the 3 percentages. You can take 10 shots in a game and hit 6 and be a 60% shooter(though not likely you hit that clip beyond the 10 shot area) or you can be a 10 for 20 shooter(still considered ~5-7% above average) and still "only" shoot 50%. That 50% shooter still gave more to your team more often than not even though he did shoot a lower percentage.

Sometimes people just get too stuck up in the percentages and not in the actual shots taken. I have no problems with any player(outside of Collins, Zaza beyond 15 feet....and typically Josh from 3) taking open, non-contested shots. Look at his shot chart, he shot 9 from outside of 15 feet(2-9), of which 4 were bad looks. He took 14 from inside 15 feet(13 of which were from inside the paint/10 feet) and went 7-14. Either way you slice it his shot was off regardless of the look, but he still drove the lane more often than not. You're going to have to live with ~2 bad looks a half, and if you can't then I don't know who in this league you could watch and not exceed that limit of bad looks.

Unknown said...

A. Merkison - I tend to disagree with you. Josh is one of the worst Jump Shooters in the NBA. He should not be taking long 2's regardless of the look. If you watch closely, it becomes apparent that teams game plan to put Josh in that position. It also reflects poorly on LD since he should not have Josh standing around the 3 point line, waiting for an open jumper. Until he can improve his abilities, he shouldnt take those shots. The truth is....we have a pretty bad overall offensive game plan. This is just part of it.

Mark Phelps said...

"Paul Millsap's pretty good but he's not nearly as tall as Solomon Jones."

HA! I like that. It's sad, Solo got cut by the Hornets. THE HORNETS.

Buddy Grizzard said...

A. Merkinson, I can understand that you have to live with the bad shots for all that Josh contributes. But what if you didn't have to? What if, instead of Josh shooting outside at a rate matched only by elite outside shooters, while making them at a rate matched only by below-average shooters, Josh took more of his shots close to the basket? It seems to me that Josh is trying so hard to be LeBron and he's shooting himself in the foot. It is precisely BECAUSE he takes so many shots outside his range that he's not considered among the highest echelon of NBA players. (This has something to do with coaching.)