Archives For Kyle Korver

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), the co-editor of TrueHoop Wizards blog Truth About It, asked me to chip in for a preview of tonight’s Hawks-Wizards match-up at Philips Arena. “Ask me the questions, Bridgekeeper, I am not afraid,” declared I. Townsend asked for my thoughts on last night’s win in New Orleans, and I primarily attributed it to Kyle Korver’s breakout game:

Korver is off to a slow start from 3-point range after a summer lost to rehab from two separate surgeries. Korver entered the Pelicans game having shot just 5-for-20 (25%) on 3-point attempts for the season. He has somewhat made up for it by adding a dribble-drive and midrange pull-up to his game, frequently using the glass. In New Orleans, Korver may have turned the corner, tying Paul Millsap for the team lead with 22 points on eight shots including 4-for-4 from distance and a game-high plus-16.

But why waste time here? You can read the whole Hawks-Wizards preview over at Truth About It.

After the Hawks surrendered a 17 point lead late in the fourth quarter, Kyle Korver hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:28 to play to help Atlanta (6-1) to a 121-115 win over the Pelicans in New Orleans, the team’s sixth straight victory. Korver followed up his three with a steal of Jrue Holiday’s bad pass, which led to a Jeff Teague layup and a 113-108 Hawks lead. The Pelicans tumbled to 0-5 despite a monstrous performance from Anthony Davis, who scored 43-point with 10 rebounds, three assists, four steals, three blocks and only a single turnover.

Korver entered the game shooting just 5-for-20 (25%) from 3-point range for the season. After matching Paul Millsap’s team-high 22 points on 8-for-8 shooting, including 4-for-4 from three, Korver lifted his 3-point shooting to 37.5%. Korver added seven rebounds, five assists (including this lovely dish to Justin Holiday for a second-quarter dunk), three steals, a block and zero turnovers with a game-high plus-16. Millsap added a game-high 12 rebounds and the Hawks moved into first place in the Eastern Conference after the Raptors fell to the Orlando Magic.

Teague scored 19 points with seven assists. Al Horford (shown here slamming home a bucket off a Dennis Schröder dime) added 14 points with four rebounds and two blocks. Kent Bazemore added 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals as all five Hawks starters scored in double figures. Continue Reading…

Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 19 points, Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap added 13 apiece and every starter was at least plus-14 as the Hawks defeated the visiting Spurs 100-86 to remain unbeaten (3-0) in the preseason. The Spurs played without LaMarcus Aldridge (back spasms) and Boris Diaw (rest) and were led by Kawhi Leonard’s 20 points with eight rebounds.

Millsap led the team with nine rebounds, added a pair of steals and was a game-high plus-19 in 25 minutes. Teague added five rebounds and three assists and was plus-18. Korver went 3-for-6 from 3-point range and added four rebounds.

Dennis Schröder led the bench with 10 points, four assists and three rebounds. Thabo Sefolosha played his first minutes of the preseason after missing the first two games due to his trial on charges stemming from his arrest last season in New York. Sefolosha scored five points and added three rebounds in eight minutes. Continue Reading…

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer announced at Media Day on Monday at Phillips Arena that Kyle Korver, Thabo Sefolosha and Shelvin Mack have been cleared for all basketball activities, including 5-on-5. New HawksHoop contributor Kacy Sager joined me for Media Day and we got further details from the players. Thabo Sefolosha talked about his desire to put the events of last season, when he suffered a broken leg while being arrested by NYPD, behind him.

“It changed my summer a lot,” said Sefolosha. “I’m looking forward. I don’t want to look back and think of what could have happend. I’m here today and I’m feeling good, and that’s what’s most important.”

Sefolosha said that, although he’s cleared for full basketball activity he will proceed through training camp with caution.

“I’ve only played once or twice 5-on-5 so it’s an exciting time,” said Sefolosha. “As you come back and you start playing 5-on-5, you don’t know how much your body can take. I think it’s going to be somewhat of a process now between working hard enough to come back and at the same time being diligent with taking care of the leg.” Continue Reading…

hh-logo-DRAFTThe next prospect up for HawksHoop’s draft profiles is one of Kentucky’s heralded freshmen: Devin Booker.


Shooting Guard, 6’5.75, 206 lbs. Freshman, University of Kentucky, 18 years old

2014-15 college stats:

21.5 minutes, 10.0 points, 47 FG%, 41.1 3P%, 82.8 FT%, 1.1 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 19.4 PER.


Devin Booker has two really great advantages going for him at this point. The first one is his age. At just 18 years old, Booker can brag about being the youngest prospect in the entire draft class. He doesn’t turn 19 until October 30th. Being that young can be a disadvantage at times, but having the opportunity to learn from the best at such a young age can really help his game. He’s still raw, so his game can be molded into what coaches and himself think are the best. Also, because he is so young, he is going to still be able to add some strength, which would help him become a better defender at the next level since he isn’t incredibly athletic. Continue Reading…

The Hawks’ season just ended yesterday, meaning that the team has officially entered the offseason. That begs one question: what do the Hawks need to do to rebound for the 2015-16 season? What are the team’s weaknesses? Who is available for the Hawks to sign?

The way to answer those first two questions is with a status report of where the Hawks are right now. The following Hawks will be free agents this offseason:

Paul Millsap
DeMarre Carroll
Pero Antic (restricted)
John Jenkins
Elton Brand

Jenkins is likely gone and it appears as if Brand is preparing for retirement. Judging by his status in the Hawks’ rotation in games 3 and 4 of the series against the Cavs, Antic could be on his way out as well. Other factors to consider here are the recovery times for Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha, the play of Mike Scott in the playoffs, and Millsap’s own potential surgery in the offseason.

With all of that in mind, the Hawks will have money that needs to be spent addressing the wing and big positions. One thing that became abundantly clear in the playoffs is that there is no such thing as having too many shooters on the roster. Korver’s cold streak and subsequent absence was a major blow for the Hawks, and while Kent Bazemore made an admirable effort to step in, it was soon clear that the Hawks could use more shooting from the bench. Dennis Schröder is not a shooter (more shots than points in the playoffs) and Mike Scott became too streaky — in addition to his bad defense — to be a reliable option.

The other obvious weakness for the Hawks in the postseason was rebounding. Horford and a less-than-100% Millsap usually held their own, but the bench options of Antic and Scott were not the kind of guys that could remedy rebounding issues whenever the Hawks were in a rut. This issue was amplified upon Sefolosha’s injury, as he provided a rebounding boost from the small forward position when he was on the court. (8.2 rebounds per 36 minutes)

Of course, an important concept to remember here is how the Hawks play. Coach Mike Budenholzer preaches pace and space on offense, and activity, quick hands, and awareness on defense. The best fits for the Hawks are going to be players that exhibit most or all of these attributes.

Finally, something that sticks out heavily, is the salary cap. I will not go into all of the Hawks’ salary cap specifics here, but suffice to say, the Hawks will have money to spend in the offseason. Also important is the NBA’s new TV deal that will start with the 2016-17 season, which will likely send the salary cap soaring to at least $85 million. Because of these, teams may be willing to overpay for free agents this year, as they know those contracts will not be as large of a hit to their cap in the future. Combating that will be whether or not players desire long-term contracts, as they may opt for shorter contracts to take advantage of the future cap spike.

Taking all of that into consideration, I present my free agent targets for the Atlanta Hawks.


Paul Millsap, F, Atlanta Hawks
Millsap averaged 16.7 points on 56.5% true-shooting, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists on the season. He was named an All-Star for the second consecutive season and was one of the most important defenders on a team that finished sixth in defensive efficiency. Continue Reading…

The Hawks’ season likely came to an end with about a minute remaining in the second quarter.

Yes, the game remained close throughout and even needed overtime to be decided. Yes, there is still at least one more game that needs to be played in this series. And yes, these Hawks have shown that — more often than not — they will fight when presented with adversity.

But when Al Horford was ejected for what the officials deemed as an elbow to the head of Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova, Game 3 was essentially over for Atlanta. The Hawks had their chances late, but nearly every mistake that the Hawks made can be linked to the absence of Horford. Jeff Teague was the only Hawk willing to shoot, Mike Scott was on the floor too much, and the Hawks being short the best body they had to box out Tristan Thompson all led to their 114-111 downfall against the Cavaliers.

“I did think he went at me but I should have handled it better,” Horford said on the season-changing play. “Shouldn’t have gotten caught up in that and it’s something I’ll definitely learn from.” Continue Reading…

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore tweeted that starting shooting guard Kyle Korver will be out for the remainder of the season with a severely sprained ankle suffered in Friday’s Game 2 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Philips Arena.

@CVivlamoreAJC: BREAKING: Kyle Korver is OUT for the remainder of the playoffs with ankle injury.

Vivalmore followed up that there is no word on who will start in Korver’s place in Game 3 in Cleveland on Sunday. The Hawks already lost Thabo Sefolosha for the season to a broken leg suffered during his arrest by NYPD. Kent Bazemore seems the most likely candidate to start in Korver’s place. Following is the text of an Atlanta Hawks press release:

Hawks guard/forward Kyle Korver suffered a right ankle injury with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter of last night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. X-rays performed at Philips Arena last night were negative. A follow-up MRI and examination this morning at the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic confirmed a severe high right ankle sprain. Korver will see a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment. He is out for the remainder of the postseason.

It’s no secret that the Atlanta Hawks have struggled shooting the ball in the post-season. Playoff teams generally rank above average defensively, and defenses are highly-motivated with the season on the line. But the Hawks’ shooting struggles can’t entirely be written off as the result of playoff defense. The Hawks are generating 20.6 wide-open shots (defined by as a shot taken with no defender within six feet), by far the most of any playoff team, but have seen a drop in shooting percentage even on these shots.

During the regular season, Atlanta shot 46.1% from the field and 39.4% from 3-point range on wide-open shots. In the playoffs, those numbers have dropped to 41.7% from the field and 37.3% from three. As a result, while the Hawks generated 23.7 points per game via wide-open shots during the regular season, Atlanta is generating only 22 points per game in the playoffs.

Atlanta has seen a decrease of only about 1% in wide-open shot opportunities in the post-season. Thus, even when you account for decreased opportunities, Atlanta is still leaving about a point and a half per game on the table on wide-open attempts. When you consider how many close games the Hawks have played in the post-season, losing close to a full basket on open shots is significant. Continue Reading…

Hawks game operations tried to conduct a post-game interview with Al Horford over the PA system after the game.

The crowd was so loud that it went on deaf ears.

Horford hit the game-winning layup after crashing the boards off of a missed Dennis Schröder drive to give the Hawks an 82-81 win and a 3-2 lead over the Washington Wizards in the Conference Semifinal. The shot was the bookend to a dominate game for Horford, who led the Hawks with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocked shots.

“Al has been the cornerstone for us — for the Hawks — for a bunch of years,” said Kyle Korver on Horford. “It wasn’t just that play, though. Al played an amazing game.”

Horford was the steady force for the Hawks over the final 5:31 of the fourth quarter, which started with the Hawks down 73-64. In that time period, Horford scored nine points off of two free throws, a corner 3-pointer, a 20-foot jumper, and the game-winner. For good measure, Horford also blocked a layup attempt by John Wall and assisted on a DeMarre Carroll layup in transition during the Hawks’ comeback.

“We didn’t quit after being down,” said Horford.

Horford was not the only one to lead the Hawks down the stretch, as Coach Budenholzer made a surprise move by going with Dennis Schröder at point guard to close the game.

“We’ve been trying to keep Jeff kinda fresh, where he doesn’t get fatigued playing long stretches, so we were giving him a minute or two there around the five minute mark. We had him at the table to go back in. We made several plays and Dennis made a couple of them himself, and Jeff took over coaching and said leave him in.” Continue Reading…