There are still 11 days remaining until the beginning of the 2013-2014 NBA regular season. After waiting for months, it’s almost time for what is becoming one of the most highly anticipated seasons in recent memory. For the next 11 days, though, the preseason action that we’ve been enjoying will have to suffice.
The preseason is an interesting time in the league in its own right. You don’t want to read too much into individual performances or wins and losses because, simply, these games don’t matter in the long-run. However, it is important to see the roles that certain players play on certain teams and to see how new offenses are going to be set up.
The Atlanta Hawks under new head coach Mike Budenholzer fall into the category of teams instituting a new system that we are getting a first look at. Through four preseason games, it’s pretty clear that re-signed wing Kyle Korver is going to be a huge factor in Budenholzer’s system.
One of the things that Budenholzer had talked about in the off-season and at training camp was how he wanted the Hawks to rely on the three-point shot this season. Considering Korver’s prowess from beyond-the-arc, that talk from Budenholzer should have indicated that the wing would see a lot of opportunities this season.
Through four games, Korver has already taken 24 attempts from beyond-the-arc. He’s only converted on nine of those attempts, but on Thursday night against the San Antonio Spurs he showed why his three-point shooting is so valuable and worth $6 million per year to the Hawks.
On Thursday night, Korver was the Hawks leading scorer, putting up 26 points on 10-15 shooting, including 5-8 shooting from long-distance. The Hawks ultimately suffered a two-point loss to San Antonio, but Korver’s shooting kept them in the game. In itself, that’s where a lot of Korver’s value to this team comes from.
Though he may not be filling it up every night, when he does he can single-handedly keep Atlanta in games. He’s one of the purest shooters in the league today and, on any given night, can put up 20 points with his long-range shooting. Korver may not be an elite athlete or the prototypical $6 million per year type of player, but he’s worth every penny to this Hawks team.