There has been healthy debate in recent days surrounding the Atlanta Hawks and just how many representatives the team would send to the 2015 NBA All-Star Game in New York. On Thursday evening, the Eastern Conference reserves were announced, and the team was honored with three selections, as they will be represented by Al Horford, Paul Millsap, and Jeff Teague.
Both Horford and Millsap have earned All-Star nods previously, with Horford appearing in both 2010 and 2011 and Millsap getting the call for the 2014 contest. Al Horford has made a strong comeback this season, especially in recent days, and Atlanta's center is averaging 15.3 points (on 55.1% shooting) and 6.8 rebounds per game in only 30.5 minutes. In addition, the 28-year-old big man has shown signs of regaining his old form on the defensive end, and that has keyed Atlanta to the league's best defense since December 1.
Paul Millsap has followed a strong Hawks debut in 2013-2014 with another fantastic campaign this season. At 29 years old, Millsap is having arguably the best all-around season of his career, putting up 17.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game, and even with a slight statistical downturn from a year ago, he has earned significant recognition around the league.
While Millsap and Horford are "veterans" of the All-Star process, the Hawks also send a newcomer to the Big Apple for the game, as Jeff Teague did enough to garner a selection. Teague is having, unquestionably, the finest season of his still-young career, averaging career-bests in points (17.0) and assists (7.5) and stepping his game up wildly on the defensive end. There was little debate as to whether the 26-year-old would make the cut, and he has certainly earned it.
Of course, there was a "snub", as Kyle Korver's performance has been historic in the first half of the 2014-2015 season. At the age of 33, the sharpshooter has ascended to heights of efficiency never before seen, including a league-leading 74.1% true shooting on the strength of a 52/53/92 shooting line that would make even Stephen Curry drool. Korver has a reputation from the uninformed fan as a one-dimensional player, but he is excellent at creating his own offense with off-ball movement, and Korver provides length and tremendous acumen on the defensive side of the ball. Keep an eye on Kyle Korver with regard to a potential injury replacement, especially if Miami's Dwyane Wade cannot play in the All-Star Game.
The Atlanta Hawks will be well represented, to say the least, in New York for All-Star Weekend, as this trio of players will join with the coaching staff (led by Mike Budenholzer), Korver (who is participating in the 3-point contest) and Dennis Schröder (who will appear in the Rising Stars Challenge) to drape the events in red and blue. It is a fun time to be a supporter of the Atlanta Hawks, and we want to congratulate each of the players on their much-deserved accolades!