Jeff Teague: B
He recorded 4 assists in the first 6 minutes and finished with 8 to go along with 13 points. Had to step up in the second half with Devin Harris going down and did alright.
Kyle Korver: A-
In the immortal words of Allen Iverson, “Shooters shoot! Shooters shoot the ball!”. Finished 5-8, including 4-6 from beyond the arc for 16 points. Filled his role perfectly.
DeShawn Stevenson: C+
Didn’t do much positively or negatively other than defend Nicolas Batum well. How he played 38 minutes without making any sort of impact is beyond me.
Josh Smith: B
Was a gametime decision with a sickness and that may have contributed to his willingness to put up long jumpers, not that this is a new development for Josh. He contributed some on the glass, held LaMarcus Aldridge to 4-13 shooting but helped let Hickson go wild with the rebounds (18). 19 points on 22 shots absolutely cannot continue.
Al Horford: A-
Could never quite get into a flow offensively in the first half, but became more of a focal point in the second half, posting a double double.
Devin Harris: D-
Played an uninspiring first half and then left with a hamstring injury.
Lou Williams: C+
He hit a couple of big shots down the stretch and got to the free throw line as much as any Hawk, despite only logging 18 minutes. Would like him to be more aggressive, especially after the injury to Devin Harris.
Anthony Morrow: D
Came in and hit a three, but proceeded to disappear (along with a number of Hawks) in the second half.
Anthony Tolliver: F
Fumbled a couple of balls, missed a couple of shots, and generally showed no reason to be in the game before Ivan Johnson, or at all.
Ivan Johnson: D
Hardly noticed he played but was still better than Anthony Tolliver.
Zaza Pachulia: B-
He showed his ordinary hustle and effort, grabbing 9 rebounds and recording 2 blocks in 23 minutes.
Larry Drew: B-
He has done nothing to quell groans regarding his questionable rotations (38 minutes for DeShawn Stevenson and only 5 for Ivan Johnson?), nor has he ever reprimanded Josh for his shot selection (1-12 from beyond the paint). He did handle Josh and Lou’s sickness well by playing them well under their normal allotment of minutes but a third quarter lull continues to plague this team. Despite some sloppy play that quarter, Drew had the team focused out of the blocks, with the Hawks stealing the ball 10 times in the first half alone and finishing with a 26 to 10 margin in fast break points. It’s impossible to argue with the results.
Portland Trailblazers: C
You can’t expect to compete night-in and night-out in the NBA with a bench of Will Barton, Ronnie Price, Sasha Pavlovic, Joel Freeland and Meyers Leonard. It only makes sense to ride the starting core for as long as possible, a strategy Terry Stotts certainly employed. Damian Lillard provides some quickness and easy buckets that the Blazers struggle to get, but he and Aldridge can only carry them so far. Lillard is clearly a building block, Hickson was a nice find with 18 rebounds in 33 minutes, and the result was a team that nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat but failed to score in the final 3 minutes of the game. It will be a long season, as Portland can only hope to develop some bench pieces as the season continues.