Thursday, May 10, 2012

Initial Feedback: Another Season Done Gone

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: Really struggled to get the ball in the basket but he attacked off the dribble, didn't turn the ball over, and earned six assists without ever turning the ball over. Despite his sub-par production, one never got the sense that Teague had the ball in his hands too much. Again did a decent of job of making Rondo shoot jumpers and encouraging him to explore turnover opportunities. 5/10

Joe Johnson: 17 points on 17 shots with his only really effective quarter being the third where he made three catch-and-shoot jumpers and got a flat-footed put-back off of a Marvin Williams tip-out. That put-back was Joe Johnson's only rebound after the 8:08 mark of the second quarter of Game 5. He earned two assists and committed two turnovers. He didn't earn a single trip to the free throw line. He was a non-factor defensively. His blocked layup attempt with 3.2 seconds left defines him as a player in the context of this team, this franchise, this contract: he's not bad, he just isn't good enough to do what is asked of him. 4/10

Marvin Williams: Made shots, grabbed rebounds, didn't turn the ball over, and did a decent job on Paul Pierce. All that could reasonably be asked. More than he's ever done two playoff games in a row. 6/10

Josh Smith: Some excellent defensive possessions (including on Garnett's go-ahead turnaround that made it 80-79 Celtics). Some terrible defensive possessions. Some excellent offensive possessions (the ones where he attacked the basket or passed ahead). Some terrible offensive possessions (he took 11 jump shots, making 3). More good than bad but not as good as he, even playing hurt, could be. A rather large caveat in an elimination game. 6/10

Al Horford: Honestly, Horford was pretty terrible for three quarters, slow of foot and reaction. He came alive in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of Atlanta's 17 points. Had he scored 12 points in the fourth (or not turned the ball over seven times), the Hawks might have gotten to play one more game. Without him, they wouldn't have been playing tonight. 6/10

Kirk Hinrich: Didn't again suffer the indignity of sitting while Willie Green played in the fourth quarter but didn't surpass his own limitations. Got stuck with bailing the Hawks out of isolations gone nowhere a couple of times and, not surprisingly, couldn't make much happen on his own. 3/10

Tracy McGrady: He made it through a whole season on a winning team without figuring out how to integrate his remaining skills into a team context. 3/10

Erick Dampier: Played 12 minutes for some reason. Grabbed a couple of offensive rebounds. Good for him. Elbowed Ryan Hollins. Excellent for him. 1/10

Jannero Pargo: Put in as a defensive replacement with 5 seconds left in the first half to guard Rondo. Seriously. He fell down in the backcourt. Incomplete

The head coach
Larry Drew made no egregious mistakes tonight but some chickens came home to roost in the form of Joe Johnson's inefficiency and narrow production, Josh Smith's jump shots, and minutes thrown away on an aged, immobile center (not the one you'd think, but still). Injuries were never his fault but the failure of the team and its players to take a harsh look at their own abilities, address their weaknesses, and play to their strengths falls at his feet. Not even a somewhat healthy Al Horford could save them in the end. 4/10

A thought regarding the opposition
Kevin Garnett was excellent. The question of who's better: a one-legged Paul Pierce or Joe Johnson? was definitively answered. Rajon Rondo was mercurial, with probably more good than bad. Still, the Hawks lost to a team that played Ryan Hollins and Keyon Dooling for much of the fourth quarter. Unlike the past four seasons, the Hawks did not bow out to an obviously superior opponent they had no chance to defeat in a best-of-seven series. Progress has stalled.


mick said...

Is it possible for the hawks to amnesty joe the find a way to trade/sign a valuable asset (carmelo, other amnesty players, potentially eric gordon or others) during the off-season? Everybody keeps saying nobody has cap room but the hawks could free a lot up in a hurry (other then josh, al, and teague who would you not amnesty?). I also feel like its impossible to give a guy who guy who goes 6-9 from the floor less then an 8 if he's playing his thrid game in 5 months, Big al was pretty easily a top three hawk in this game and had no business playing 45 minutes although even bad horford minutes are better then any dampir minutes.

A.Merkison said...

What is it with officiating this year? There were egregious calls made in this one that a blind monkey wouldn't have missed(here's looking at the foul from Daniels on Horford where they called it "after the ball had left the hands of the inbounder, even though it still hadn't until after play had stopped quite clearly on the replay). It seems like officials refuse to use the replay available to them for no good reason.

That's more frustrating than anything really. Boston had all the momentum in the world on their court due to some overly questionable officiating at key times(Atlanta made a charge, were bringing Josh in where the buzzer and official both signaled him in and Doc complained then the ref called Josh back. He picks up a tech for questioning the call well after it happened. Let's not forget that the ball pretty clearly hit Hollins on the back when he was standing out of bounds on the play that preceded the substitution).


weemsildinho said...

Well, it will be tough to free up a lot of cap space this year, but 2013 could be the year for that. Keeping everyone around next year will give them another playoff run, albeit ending in the 1st or 2nd round most likely, then the following things can happen...

Josh Smith walks, which he wants to do from most reports. He's in the final year of his contract, and if the Hawks can't get equal value for him, they probably keep him, as they are a playoff team even without him (as long as everyone stay healthy).

Trade Marvin, who will be in the last year of his contract. They've been trying for two years now, but I feel like someone will take him with just one year left on his contract after 2013. Despite all of his flaws, he can play and contribute on most any team in the NBA because he can defend, rebound, and shoot at reasonable levels.

Zaza comes off the books next year at about 5 million a season if I'm not mistaken. Could keep him around, but that's another option to achieving tons of flexibility after 2013.

And finally, the amnesty could be used on Joe Johnson. Whether or not ASG goes for paying a dude over 60 million in 3 years to not play for the team is a whole 'nother issue, but this would be the logical course of action if you are committed to rebuilding. That would be 20 million off the books.

One last item is Jeff Teague, who would be a restricted free agent after next year if he is not extended before. A pretty good young player, but it would be interesting to see what the Hawks would do with him if they go into total rebuilding mode. Would they give him 3-4 years? Probably would depend on how he plays next year.

If I have my info correct (please correct me if I don't), the Hawks could have the potential to comepletly blow it up, leaving Horford, this year's first rounder, and all the flexibility you could want. There is a salary floor, so that would have to be taken into account, but this team seems to have stalled, and it makes sense to rebuild and try to get a true superstar in here through the draft. It will be interesting at that point to see how that offseason goes. However, I don't expect much to happen this offseason, which is too bad, but probably makes sense.

Thor1273767 said...

It hurts to watch this team. I am a life long ATL fan, be it Braves, Falcons, Hawks, and even the ill-fated Thrashers. So to watch this team come out and play so poorly that they let a lesser team advance, a team by the way that let it be known the whole time they were playing, is a severe travesty. The 100 million dollar man had absolutely no fire. NONE, ZERO, ZILCH. It anyone gets paid 100 million dollars they better damn-well walk onto the court like they've been set aflame. The team I watched tonight was listless and had no drive what so ever, with an exception of the always ready to play Smith and Horford. Seriously, after game 1, when the effectively punched Boston in the jaw with their hustle and team play, they let a free game 2 win fall through their fingers with Rondo out after the tech. It was obvious they didn't want to win at all after the game 4 blowout, and the luck of game 5. To the people in charge of personnel decisions for the Hawks, please do these things for the fans. Trade away Joe Johnson and his To-cool-to-care attitude, the man is not worth any amount of money that we are paying him, it's like Isaiah Rider all over again (tangent withheld, we all know how that turned out.), trade Marvin Williams for a towel boy, cause at least the towel boy's potential will be easier and less expensive to realize. Keep Horford, Teague, and Smith, because those three at least give their best every night, and get a coach who can get away from the worst offense every. Iso-Joe.

jrauch said...

Team needs a new direction. Joe's clearly unhappy with the idea he's now the fourth best player on the team.

Iso-Joe needs to die. Larry Drew needs to go. Team's peaked -- though you could have said that after last year -- time to do something different.

jonesppp said...

What a negative Nancy! a one on Dampier? What about why Ivan wasn't in there?

jonesppp said...

And you're saying we had no chance? What games were you watching? That's irresponsible at best.

v8dreaming said...

I agree with jrauch. Time to cut Johnson. I wonder what they could get if they trade Josh.
I like Marvin coming off the bench. He seems to do well in that role. I like our bench players. Keep Teague, Horford and Zaza.