Scouts have disclosed to David Aldridge that they marvel at the player development under Hawks GM Danny Ferry and head coach Mike Budenholzer.
I am awake? Am I reading about actual goodness regarding the upper levels of the Atlanta Hawks?
First of all, full disclosure, I really like David Aldridge. I've never really met him in person (he chatted with me when I was a season-ticket holder in 2001ish), but he does a real good job keeping the balance of keeping-it-real and not being over the top obnoxious in his NBA reporting.
If you are not reading his weekly column, the Morning Tip, it's a nice column/what's up snapshot of David's take on the league.
I always read it, looking for some encouragement about the Good Guys who play their home games at the Highlight Factory and today's entry was a double-dose of that encouragement:
Aldridge in his weekly ranks:
10) Atlanta  (2-2): Kyle Korver just keeps going and going. His 3-point streak really is something to be admired.
That's nice -- You can read Throw's Weekly Power Rankings report and maybe not find the ATL as high as this in a lot of rankings. DA has never been afraid of throwing the good vibes toward the Hawks.
Then I read down the column a bit to where Aldridge shares what he's feeling/not feeling and found this as the first entry.
1) The Hawks continue to amaze without Al Horford. Jeff Teague is playing the best basketball of his career, and scouts who watch the Hawks marvel at their player development under Danny Ferry and Mike Budenholzer.
Viva la competence! It's been, well, never since I ever heard anyone compliment our player development. When Danny took over, folks told me there was a lot of changin' going on -- no doubt if this is the feedback we're getting.
Looking at the full comment, I know it looks like Jeff Teague is playing the best ball of his career, but is he really?
His advanced stats tell a different story. Yes, his assist rate is up and his turnover rate is static, and his free throw rate is up, but it's not necessarily translating to more efficiency. The eye test says he's being more aggressive, but his shot has been a little faulty, and that's what likely bringing some of his numbers down.
Also, it's an interesting observation considering the Hawks last three #1 picks (John Jenkins, Dennis Schröder, Lucas Nogueira) have not paid positive dividends this season.
Again, the eye test says, "Man this team looks like it's playing faster and better offensively!" The stats say that while the team is better offensively, according to basketball-reference.com, 15th to 18th last season, the Hawks are the same on defense and are playing at a faster pace this season, though slower relative to the rest of the league. (94.7 vs. 92.6 last year -- 15th this year compared to 12th last season.)
Is it just that scouts see Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer and the Spurs way and start feeling rainbows, ice cream and puppy dog warm fuzzies or is there something real to what the NBA peeps are telling David Aldridge?
Either way, it's nice to read something good about the Hawks on a Monday.
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