Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Initial Feedback: Let's Talk About Injuries

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: With :36 to play in the first quarter, Jeff Teague double teamed Kevin Garnett on the right block and got the ball out of his hands. The ball swung to the far end where Keyon Dooling attempted a three which Teague, who was moving as fast as a cross-court pass, swatted into the 10th row. With under 4 minutes to play in the 3rd, Teague scored on a beautiful tear-drop off a spin move in the lane, then hit a pair of free throws to give the Hawks their first double-digit lead. From there, the Hawks' offense completely fell apart as they were outscored 36-18 over the game's final 15 minutes. 5/10

Joe Johnson
: In Game 1, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce seemed to cancel each other out with defense. On paper it looks like Joe had a nice game with 22 points on 7-for-17 shooting with 4 rebounds and 5 assists. But the defense wasn't there this time as Pierce errupted for 36. 5/10

Kirk Hinrich: Kirk Hinrich looked done heading into these playoffs. Larry Drew fed him a steady diet of minutes to try to get him going, but good games were few and far between. After a Game 1 performance where Kirk scored 12 and shot well, it looked like he might be rounding into playoff form. In this game, although Kirk made several hustle plays, he scored only 8 points. This is not the kind of production you need from a starting 2-guard who plays 37 minutes. 2/10

Josh Smith
: Carried the load again with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists before hurting his knee while banging in the post with Garnett. That giant thud you just heard was the Hawks' postseason hopes. 7/10

Jason Collins
: The only player besides Josh with a positive +/-. Again played solid defense on Garnett. When Collins fouled out, Larry Drew's decision to go small and replace him with Marvin Williams, moving Josh to center, proved to be fateful. 3/10

Marvin Williams
: Marvin Williams is 2-for-11 for the postseason. I previously suggested that he might be a candidate for the Amnesty Clause. It's too bad the Hawks can't use the Amnesty mid-season. Talk about riding the cold hand. 3/10

Willie Green
: Willie Green had the lowest +/- for the season for the Hawks by a wide margin. In this postseason, he is an aggregate -21, having scored 2 baskets in 24 total minutes. You can totally understand why Drew went with him in the 4th quarter. 1/10

Ivan Johnson
: Johnson did not look good taking three jumpers and missing all of them in the first half. In the second, Josh and Joe got Ivan going by hitting him with passes as he attacked the basket. Bass and Garnett tested Ivan's post defense and did not find it lacking, but his game was a mixed bag. In one sequence, Ivan dribbled the ball off his knee for a turnover, converted a beautiful 3-point play against Pierce, then abandoned Pierce completely on defense, leaving him wide open for a 19-footer. You can understand why Drew was nervous about entrusting the team's fate to Ivan after Collins fouled out. But who else did the Hawks have that could match Boston's physicality? Marvin? 4/10

Jannero Pargo
: Zero turnovers and two missed field goals in 4 minutes. 2/10

Tracy McGrady
: T-Mac has not been able to get it going offensively, either as a facilitator or a scorer. But in this game he made a nice defensive impact, at one point blocking Garnett and forcing a shot clock violation. Tracy also got to the free throw line, hitting 3-of-4. McGrady, unlike Green, is a factor. 3/10

The head coach

Asked in the post-game press conference why his team's half-court offense completely broke down in the second half, Drew responded that the Hawks didn't run enough. 1/10

A thought regarding the opposition

Teams that are well-coached execute their half-court offense when the game is on the line. Teams that are well-coached get this kind of execution from starters and reserves alike.


Jonesy2x4 said...

I was sick to my stomach after Al Horford got hurt after collectively the Hawks were playing some of their best basketball ever. If Josh Smith injury is serious idk if I can watch them play anymore this season

Bronnt said...

You and I seem to have watched a very different Josh Smith this evening. I was as frustrated with him as I've ever been.

Buddy Grizzard said...

If Josh isn't able to play or go full speed in Game 3, there's not going to be a whole lot of season left to watch.

Jonesy2x4 said...

The First Quarter Bronn im with you, but that Third Quarter was absurd tho. He was torching Boston with everything

Bret LaGree said...

It's a ton of injuries that led to it, but Teague/Hinrich/Green/Johnson/Johnson is nor a playoff lineup at all, much less in the final three minutes. No matter how well Hinrich fought Pierce defensively.

Jerry Hinnen said...

Per ESPN play-by-play, Hawks had one assist in the final 17:43, which happened to yield the 16-foot Ivan Johnson jumper (and three-point play).

So zero passes that led to a basket in the paint in 17 seconds shy of a quarter and a half.

Buddy Grizzard said...

Added a link in Willie's comment for's +/- stats page for the Hawks. Green is dramatically worse than any other Hawk. T-Mac ranks 4th on the team behind Josh, Joe and Teauge.

Jonesy2x4 said...

I thought TMac was playing well out there, and then Drew yanked him while Green and Pargo were still in the game making no impact during the first half. He should have gotten more run in this game IMO.

Buddy Grizzard said...

Agree 100% Jonesy2x4. As I said in the comments, T-Mac was a factor. Willie Green was a non-factor.

Jonesy2x4 said...

Marvin Williams needs to start
Leaving the Josh Smith injury point aside (because if hes hurt this is all moot) asking Joe johnson to guard Paul Pierce is a bit much, need his scoring more than his defense. Marvin Williams is a better defender than Joe Johnson and this move may be able to force Boston hand and either force Bradley to guard either Marvin or Joe, or force Boston to play somebody else when this lineup is in the game

Marvin has been awful no question, but him, along with TMac need to play with the starters instead of the bench players to be effective against THIS Boston defense.

Mark Phelps said...

I am surprised Drew doesn't try to "hide" minutes for people like Green and Pargo, who are substandard defensively, by pairing them with better help defenders like Josh. According to, the lineup that features Pargo or Green plus Josh that got the most minutes is Teague-Green-J.Johnson-Smith-Pachulia, which has only the 9th most minutes, yet has a positive +/-, and limits opponents to less than 1 point per possession, which is better than several lineups above it. Trying to hide their minutes amongst some of the starters who can provide help D, thus giving rest to other starters, could be an effective way of not slacking off too much defense while they're in the game.

I realize with Pachulia's injury and Smith's possible injury, this may be a moot point.

Bret LaGree said...

I'm appreciative of the difficulty Larry Drew has managing minutes due to injury since at least three contributors (Hinrich, Collins, McGrady) can't really score but can play well with the starters but he can't sit Teague, Joe Johnson, and Josh Smith all at once for five minutes across two stretches in the second and fourth quarters.

Wendy said...

Kirk a 2 and Marvin a 3 and JJ a 5? Yes, Kirk needed to shoot more last night, but he didn't shoot poorly and I thought was a positive overall. I don't know how much of the shot distribution is intentional, but I doubt that's all on Kirk with JJ griping about not having the ball in his hands and LD's comments about the offense.

I'm rather humored that your rankings place him as the 2nd/3rd worst Hawk in last night's game.

Buddy Grizzard said...

I hate that the injuries are going to provide the hawks organization with a pretext to retain drew. Game 2 pretty much validated every criticism I have ever made of him. Calling this the biggest coaching mismatch of the postseason may be the most accurate thing I have written for hoopinion.

I know I sound like I'm playing fantasy basketball half of the time but I really think the hawks have got to move marvin's contract. Ivan can play three positions and makes Marvin expendable.