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: Credit Teague with doing exactly what this game called for: attacking the basket and distributing the ball. Jeff's aggressive play opened up a lot of avenues for wide open play around the rim. 8/10
Josh Smith: J-Smoove put up the kind of game that has Hawks fans wanting more. 24 points on 11-17 shooting, nine rebounds, four assists. Seemed lazy on the defensive end (as did most of the Hawks), but against the Bobcats, I don't suppose much more is required. 7/10
Joe Johnson: Another solid game for Joe while the he and the other starters picked up some rest (Teague had the most minutes for starters with 30). Efficient shooting with harassing defense, excellent use of his size against a team that clearly cannot guard the paint well. 8/10
Kirk Hinrich: Kirk certainly didn't stuff the box score, but was quietly effective on defense, especially limiting a young Bobcats team to very few points in transition. 4/10
Zaza Pachulia: Six points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes. Zaza really bounced back after an off-game in Philly by taking up the paint on the offensive and defensive ends. I would have liked to see them give him a chance to play a little more with his back to the basket against an undersized frontcourt like Charlotte's, but effective play nonetheless. 6/10
Marvin Williams: We can hope that this game is a sign that Marvin is embracing his sixth-man role, and not an aberration against a bad team. Marvin came out with great energy and poise and was rewarded with hustle shots and passes as he came off high screens. 8/10
Tracy McGrady: These kind of games are the evidence of a solid player: McGrady struggled with his shot, not recording a single field goal, but was still able to contribute with six rebounds and five assists. Understanding that his shot wasn't falling, McGrady settled into a facilitator's role and made his presence felt. 5/10
Jannero Pargo: Nice to see Pargo back and shooting well, though he was doing it mostly in garbage time against the Charlotte second line. Hard to give too much credit for that, but Jannero definitely turned in a solid game. 5/10
Willie Green: See: Jannero Pargo. Green padded his stats in the fourth quarter, but as with Pargo, it's nice to see anybody out there hitting when they find themselves wide open. 5/10
Ivan Johnson: Ivan will always be known for his hustle on the court, but even in a game against the lowly Bobcats, I still see lots of poor mistakes in his ability to read offenses and locate himself defensively. That said, he always runs the court and is constantly rewarded for his extra effort, as he helped the Hawks destroy the Bobcats in the paint tonight. 6/10
Jerry Stackhouse: Jerry certainly isn't the player he used to be, but I applaud him for staying ready every time he's called on. Go get 'em, Jerry -- but only when the game has three minutes left and it's not close. 2/10
Jason Collins: I feel as though Jason Collins is the poster child for garbage minutes. I wouldn't even mind if they took the word "Hawks" off of his jersey and replaced it with "Garbage time has begun." In this world of advanced statistics, you'd think that Garbage Minutes (GM) would be a new stat. Also, of course, would be Garbage Minute Percentage (GM%), a reflection of how many of your total minutes were garbage minutes. Jason did pick up three rebounds in five minutes. 2/10
The head coach
There isn't much to be said here: the Charlotte Bobcats have the worst record in the NBA for a reason. Drew organized an attack on the Bobcats interior, where they have poor defense and virtually no help D (though you'd think Biyombo would be a little farther along). Throwing down point after point in the paint is the right call, and it was great to see a little rest for the starters. Still hard to claim too much of a victory for the coach when it's this expected. Let's hope Drew keeps the formula when we visit Charlotte on Saturday. 8/10
A thought regarding the opposition
It seems the popular topic in the NBA these days is the possibility of teams tanking to get a good draft pick, but at least no one accuses Charlotte of that. They're a legitimately bad team who needs another post option, another wing shooter, another interior defender, and another help defender to be mediocre. In other words, we're watching a team who is waiting with baited breath to see if they can land Anthony Davis. He won't be a cure-all, but if Walker and Biyombo blossom a bit more, then it's a start.