Sunday, April 29, 2012

Initial Feedback: One Down, Fifteen To Go

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: He couldn't have played better offensively on a night when the Hawks desperately needed an effective offensive player over the final 38 minutes of the game. On the other end of the floor, Rajon Rondo was really effective, but 40% of his makes were jump shots. The Hawks will be satisfied with that ratio whenever Rondo rejoins the series. 7/10

Kirk Hinrich: I put the break-even point for the diminished Kirk Hinrich at two open shots made per game. He reached that mark 189 seconds into the game and just kept going, not just knocking down shots others created for him, but creating a couple makes for himself while also rendering Avery Bradley ineffective. 7/10

Joe Johnson: Had Paul Pierce made basically any of the open jump shots Joe Johnson gave him, there might have been second-round intensity boos for Johnson during the player introductions Tuesday night. In the second half, Johnson dominated the ball like it was cap space, missing all six shots he took, turning the ball over twice and scratching only in the final minute of the fourth quarter on one of the two technical free throws Rondo gifted the Hawks. 3/10

Josh Smith: Given the Celtics' disinterest in their own missed shots, a lot of those 16 defensive rebounds were discretionary (especially with Jason Collins playing more than 31 minutes), as were many of the 12 jump shots Smith took. But he set the tone early, making several high-percentage, aggressive offensive plays in building the lead the Hawks clung to for the final three quarters and his defense was excellent all night. 8/10

Jason Collins: Everything's a bonus with Jason Collins. All six points. All five rebounds. Every time Kevin Garnett posted him up. The Celtics attacked him effectively in the pick-and-roll in the fourth quarter. After banking this win, let's hope Larry Drew ponders his Plan B. 4/10

Marvin Williams: Perhaps Game 2 of this series will feature Marvin busting out of his career-long playoff disaster. Many of those 31 Jason Collins minutes will have to go somewhere. 2/10

Tracy McGrady: Without that offensive rebound and dunk that fell in his lap, this would have been a comprehensively poor and selfish Tracy McGrady performance. His other make was an early, fall-away 20-footer and both his turnovers were train wrecks. 3/10

Willie Green: Made a shot. Gave up a made shot. Will get a chance to make a difference later in this series, I suspect. 3/10

Ivan Johnson: Energy incarnate and constantly under control. The Celtics figure to get more familiar and less pleased with his presence as the series progresses. 4/10

Jannero Pargo: I have no idea why he played so much when both Teague and Hinrich were effective. That he did was not his fault, and he wasn't bad so much as himself. Which doesn't comfort in a playoff game you're trying to hold on to. 3/10

The head coach
The rotations were weird and the third quarter offensive struggles all too familiar but Larry Drew wasn't the head coach having his team make Jason Collins' one defensible reason for being in the game relevant or overseeing some abysmal transition defense in the first half. If the Hawks score 83 points in every game in this series, they have a legitimate shot at winning three of the next six. I don't think they can necessarily do that by repeating their Game 1 performance six more times, but they took the first step. 5/10

A thought regarding the opposition
Boston would gladly take their chances on Paul Pierce scoring more than 12 points on those particular 19 field goal attempts again. Same goes for Josh Smith attempting 12 jump shots or Joe Johnson jacking up 250 feet worth of three-pointers in a single game.

However, with 41 seconds left in the Game 1, Rajon Rondo probably killed their chances of successfully playing the percentages over the rest of the series. Rondo kept the Celtics in this game. Without him, the Celtics won't be able to improve on missed chances. They'll have to conjure quality chances from some other source. Ray Allen's last hurrah appears the only marginally plausible worry for the Hawks.


Buddy Grizzard said...

"Johnson dominated the ball like it was cap space.."

LOL now that's vintage Bret. Give Collins his props, but please LD, get him some help. He looked like he was about to go into cardiac arrest when he came out in the third quarter.

Mark Phelps said...

I also love the Joe comment, and at Philips it seemed to me that there were some boos going his way (plus my fiancee's "HE makes the most money?"). I also agree with the Collins comment. Numerous times I looked over to the scorer's table for a sub and no one stepped to it. Truly a confusing offensive plan by LD, but a win nonetheless. We'll take it. Better come up with a better plan for game 2, though.

Natural Neutral said...

Bret, you gotta give cheeseburger more credit. He was outstanding on defense of Garnett all game and really showed hustle out there. His baskets were very essential to maintain the lead and deflate the Celtics. The advantage with him is that he's expected to do so little that when he does something good, it is something more than what it is. It inspires Josh and the other Hawks with actual talent, and demoralizes the Celtics when they realize they let that guy score on them.