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.