Hawks Season in Review - Kyle Korver

The arms up signal of a made three was a common occurrence when Kyle Korver was on the floor. - Kevin C. Cox

Continuing the Hawks Season in Review, we evaluate what was expected for each player and how they performed, we remember a highlight or moment, and we look into their future prospects with the Hawks. We now review the season of starting small forward Kyle Korver.

Expectations

Kyle Korver was acquired with a trade exception because the Bulls were facing luxury tax issues. An example of your new CBA at work, the only team in the 3rd largest city in the USA and they are giving away useful players to direct competitors to avoid luxury tax. It really wasn’t the dollar for dollar tax for this last season that had Chicago scared, but rather qualifying as a repeat offender and paying exponential taxes in the future. What we did we expect to get out of the long time 6th man and shooting specialist? Long distance shooting was the main thing we expected.

Results

Kyle Korver gave us a whole lot more than 3 pointers off the bench. Kyle started 60 of his 74 games, which was his highest season total of starts in his entire career. He didn’t hit a 3 pointer opening night, but he did in every other game creating a streak for us fans to cherish and follow even on nights when nothing else seemed to be working. He shot a league second best .457 from 3 point range and his effective FG% was .618. It is safe to say that he delivered on the shooting expectations. Kyle brought something else to the team that I never expected in the form of defense. Kyle played hard on defense even when playing SF and being physically outmatched, but his contribution was communication. According to an early season interview with Al Horford this was the first year they actually talked on the floor defensively communicating help and recovery. He credited Kyle Korver for this change and it still boggles my mind that the coaches never demanded this of the players before.

Highlight

January 25th at home against the hated Celtics saw the Hawks limp out to a 10 point first quarter as the Celtics scored 29. The Celtics maintained their 19 point lead at halftime and Kyle Korver had 3 points all from the foul line. Then we witnessed the comeback. Kyle hit his first 3 about 3 ½ minutes into the 3rd period. Kyle nailed 7 more three pointers in the 2nd half and the Hawks needed every one of them to get to OT. Kyle didn’t score in OT, but he’d done enough. The rest of the Hawks brought it home winning an emotion game by 12 points in double OT.

Prognosis

A lot of people (myself included) would love to have Kyle back next season if terms can be worked out but he’ll get a lot of interest around the league. For us, I think he’d fair better in platoon at the SG position with John Jenkins than at SF where savvy SF can wear him out on defense. Of the great run off screen shooters that are still in the league I’d argue that Kyle has the most left in his tank over Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, and Michael Redd. That makes me think it is worth the risk to offer him a 3 year deal as opposed to trying to get him to sign a year at a time.


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