Saturday, April 21, 2012

Initial Feedback: Of Possums and Sheep Dogs

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.

Joe Johnson: When Josh Smith and Joe Johnson checked out of the game with 20 seconds to play and the win finally secure, Hawks public address announcer Ryan Cameron tried to pump up the crowd to give them an ovation. I was reminded of a Monty Python movie: “And there was much rejoicing… yay!” 7/10

Josh Smith: The Hawks’ body language throughout this game showed how much of a humiliation it was to need a full effort to beat a team missing 5 of its top 7 rotation players. 6/10

Jason Collins: Ivan Johnson has had nice games this year against All-Star centers Marc Gasol and Roy Hibbert, and a relatively-healthy Andrew Bogut. Jason Collins had a nice game against Greg Stiemsma. 6/10

Kirk Hinrich: We can only take comfort in the fact that the only player on Boston’s roster slow enough for Kirk to guard, Ray Allen, did not play in this game. 3/10

Jeff Teague: We can only hope that Teague was playing possum and that he will flip the switch in the playoffs. Otherwise this Jekyll and Hyde routine is a bad horror movie I don’t care to watch. 2/10

Tracy McGrady: T-Mac has had a series of strong performances that seemed to say, “I’m shaking the rust off and ready to contribute in the playoffs.” That series ended with a 1point, 4 rebound, 5 turnover performance in 14 minutes. 2/10

Vladimir Radmanovic: Watching Vlad try to check a player like Keyon Dooling on the perimeter is like watching a fire hydrant try to check Keyon Dooling on the perimeter. 4/10

Jannero Pargo: Shot only 1-for-4, all from three point range, but had three assists against only one turnover in 17 minutes. I’ll take it. We know Jannero can hit shots. 4/10

Willie Green: I talk bad about Willie for having the worst aggregate +/- for the season for the Hawks, but he has won several games with his shooting. This was another. 6/10

Ivan Johnson: Ivan was building a bit of a legend for himself as a player with a burning desire to win and willingness to call out his teammates for lack of effort. Failure to cross the half court line for an entire defensive possession will not help build that legend. 3/10

Marvin Williams: The box score says he played 23 minutes. I didn’t notice. 3/10

The head coach
Larry Drew often paces the sideline whistling like a manic shepherd with 5 blind sheep dogs. In this game he pointedly disdained to rise from his chair and act as if he was coaching against Doc Rivers. Drew told the AJC he didn’t want to “tip his hand” about offensive and defensive changes he has prepared for the playoffs. It’s good to think we won’t see one busted isolation after another in the postseason. I was starting to wonder if the Hawks have an offense. 3/10

A thought regarding the opposition
As Joe and Josh checked out to their rousing ovation, Doc Rivers stood on the sideline, clipboard in hand, ready to draw up another play trailing by 7 with 20 seconds to play. He came close to beating the Hawks with two starters and players 8 through 15 in the Celtics’ rotation.


15ThatMagicalNumber said...

Despite the situation regarding the starters, which nobody wants to mention how the Hawks have been without Horford all year (how well would the Celtics do without one of those 4 main guys all year?) and were also without Zaza tonight, I found Doris Burke to be a constant nails on chalkboard all night.

At one point in the 4th she scolded the Hawks for allowing Celtics second string players to get an offensive rebound, and was speaking of how these aren't the main players for the Celtics. I noticed that on the court were Marvin, I. Johnson, Pargo, Green and McGrady. None of which are starters, either.

As is usual for the media concerning the NBA, the only teams that anyone cares about are ones wiht big markets and/or superstar players or head coach. Shortly after her scolding I mentioned above, Ivan got fouled in the paint after a bad shot by Pargo, and he was yapping at Dooling. She said something to the effect of, "Johnson yapping away out there - very smart of Dooling to back away, because all he was doing was trying to stop a layup." It was like I was listening to a Celtics broadcast team. Sort of like the experiance of listening to the self-important Charles BArkley blast the Hawks during the game they played without Lebron and Wade - when the Hawks had beaten Miami earlier in the year, and two games later destroyed the Bulls WITH Rose in the lineup.

I know there's a lot of reasons why I shouldn't be too confident in the Hawks, but to listen to the type of "analyzation" that they are subject to by the media, its up there on levels next to my disgust with constant coverage of the Cowboys (I'm a Giants fan) when, IMO, there's little reason to care too much about them. Put simply, it makes me a bit angry. Who the HELL are these people, who almost never pay attention to the Hawks, to constantly chastise them in the few times they do cover/talk about them?

I remember last year everybody in the media was certain that the Magic would win that first round series. Wellp.

15ThatMagicalNumber said...

Not to spam, but I forgot to mention - Burke at the end of the game saying "I'm not saying you don't take the win..but are all wins good wins?" Well, Ms. Burke, how about you ask that question to Doc Rivers, and see what his answer would be? If he'd want to tell his players, even for a moment, that yes, losing is acceptable if you put everything you have against a team probably not taking you seriously. I'm not saying they shouldn't be proud of what they did, I'm just saying, I don't think Doc is necessarily satisfied with a loss no matter how close and whos playing. But I am not Doc, so I don't know. But Burke's statement/rhetorical question sounds like something you read in the comments section of an ESPN game recap comments section.

Buddy Grizzard said...

15, performances like Josh Smith's and Joe Johnson's today against the Knicks are a big reason why the Hawks are so easy to write off. If the Hawks put an end to the Big Three in the first round this year, maybe they will have earned better. If they lose in the first round, it will only reinforce the opinions of the dismissive.