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: Carried the Hawks in the third and fourth quarters. His teammates took the ball out of his hands repeatedly down the stretch anyway. Good defense on Rondo for the most part. Struggled to chase Ray Allen around screens which only exacerbated the problem of Jannero Pargo being in the game.8/10
Kirk Hinrich: Defended Rondo well himself. Didn't make a shot and that (barring an unreported injury) got Jannero Pargo, Willie Green, and the husk of Tracy McGrady preferred to him for the final 17:06. 3/10
Joe Johnson: If you take enough difficult shots and a teammate plays as well as Jeff Teague did, then eventually a couple of those difficult shots will be big makes. 29 points on 28 shots (with 2 assists and 2 turnovers) isn't that bad in the context of this inefficient offensive series. But it's not enough to mitigate the absence of the Hawks' two best players. 6/10
Marvin Williams: I don't know if his 11 defensive rebounds did anything other than drive home the point that Boston really doesn't care about grabbing offensive rebounds. Another thoroughly out of sorts postseason performance. 3/10
Jason Collins: The two early buckets were a pleasant surprise. The four turnovers were not. Garnett has stopped foolishly trying to post Collins up. He and Bass both made easy spot-up jumpers when Collins couldn't close out. 2/10
Tracy McGrady: Larry Drew couldn't count on Tracy McGrady to play regular minutes this season because McGrady couldn't count on his body. A strong first half ended with a contact-free turned ankle. In the second half and overtime, McGrady played 24 minutes, was 0-5 from the floor with 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 turnovers. 4/10
Erick Dampier: Tripled his season total of made field goals. Grabbed six rebounds. Didn't expire on court. The Hawks couldn't ask for anything more. 3/10
Ivan Johnson: Much like Kirk Hinrich, an inability to make an impact offensively saw much of the roster pass him in the fourth quarter. 2/10
Jannero Pargo: The only Hawk on the court for the scoreless 4:20 stretch of the first half and the fourth quarter meltdown. Took (and missed) bad shots, couldn't defend Rondo, and his presence forced Teague into a bad matchup against Ray Allen. 1/10
Willie Green: I don't know if 5 points in 15 minutes is sufficient return given the dearth of non-scoring contributions Green offers, but he was a far sight more effective than Pargo. 3/10
Vladimir Radmanovic: Put in the game to spread the Boston defense. Boston never seemed to notice and Radmanovic barely touched the ball. 1/10
The head coach
The Hawks are now up to almost 15 minutes of playoff basketball with none of Teague, Joe Johnson, or Josh Smith on the court. The Hawks were scoreless during tonight's 4:20 stretch of Teague and Johnson both on the bench in the first quarter, keeping the total number of Atlanta points scored in those self-restricting conditions at 7. In ridiculously low scoring games, possessions can't behalf-wasted before they begin.
Same goes for the refusal to put the ball in Teague's hands on every possession down the stretch. There would have been scoreless possessions then, too, but it would have tested Boston's defense more than isolations for Joe Johnson or Tracy McGrady did.
A thought regarding the opposition
The Celtics won because their coach went all out to win and because their highly-paid, poor shooting players do other things (get to the line in Paul Pierce's case, Rondo's 14 rebounds, 12 assists, and 4 steals) Joe Johnson simply cannot. Johnson's limitations, relative to his contract, are unfairly highlighted in the absence of Atlanta's top three post players (as well as Marvin Williams' rather empty presence) but they're also material to the result.