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: First it was Kevin Garnett with his "that guy's a nobody" comment. In this game, Teague was obviously getting under Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony's skin. As good as Teague looked taking the ball away from Baron Davis and getting to the basket, he looked just as bad on defense allowing Davis, not one of the faster players in the league, to get uncontested layups. 5/10
Joe Johnson: Shut down by Iman Shumpert on consecutive posessions at the end of the fourth quarter. Add Shumpert to the list of wing defenders that Joe has nothing for when it counts. 5/10
Kirk Hinrich: They traded two first round picks to get rid of Mike Bibby, then Kirk Hinrich became Mike Bibby. 1/10
Josh Smith: Shot 1-for-5 outside the paint. With one of the game's best interior defenders absent, you would have liked to see Josh do more damage inside. The five turnovers didn't help either, and his technical foul for arguing with the refs provided New York with the winning margin. 4/10
Marvin Williams: Easily Marvin's best game of the season, but it comes against a team missing its starting center. This allowed Marvin to attack the basket, something he doesn't have consistent success doing. Was fouled by Anthony on the final drive to the basket. I'm not sure why the Hawks didn't protest the fact. 9/10
Willie Green: Matched Ivan Johnson for the worst +/- on the team. 3/10
Ivan Johnson: Although Ivan scored only 1 point in 13 minutes, he drew two charges and made Stoudemire work for every bucket in the first half. In the second half, Stoudemire had had enough and started attacking off the dribble. Ivan looks better defending against players that try to power through him, a near-impossible task. On face-up plays, you see how far Ivan has to go as a defender. 3/10
Jannero Pargo: As good as Pargo looked knocking down threes, he looked completely helpless trying to guard a bigger, stronger, faster Shumpert. When Teague finally got back into the game before halftime, he immediately matched Shumpert's athleticism with a highlight block. 5/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: When you can't even box out a guard, Landry Fields, on a missed free throw and prevent a follow layup, what exactly is the point of having Radmanovic near the basket? 1/10
Tracy McGrady: In a tight game in which McGrady could have made a contribution, he did very little in his 13 minutes. 2/10
The head coach
Letting Teague play the entire first quarter without the early hook was an unusual and welcome change, but Larry Drew waited too long to get Teague back in before halftime. Drew left Pargo on the floor because of hot shooting but let his poor defense get exploited before getting Teague back in. The second half was like groundhog day. Teague was ready to check in after a Stoudemire dunk created when Baron Davis got by Pargo. Next play the Knicks exploited Pargo again for a wide open Davis three. Going back to last year's Chicago series when Drew was late to react to the Bulls deliberately abusing Jason Collins' foot speed, Drew has been consistently slow to make adjustments. 3/10
A thought regarding the opposition
This was a nice win for the Knicks, who still have a chance to finish 6th and avoid Chicago or Miami in the first round. The Hawks blew a chance to go two games up on the Celtics in the loss column, and may not get a chance to rest the starters in the season's final two games.