The Atlanta Hawks were rewarded for their stellar play in the 2015 season on Thursday as Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Al Horford were named reserves for the NBA All-Star Game. They will be joined by head coach Mike Budenholzer and his coaching staff who will lead the Eastern Conference team.
"It is an honor for our entire organization to have Al, Paul and Jeff selected to play on the All-Star stage," said Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer, who will serve as head coach of the Eastern Conference squad. "The recognition is well-deserved for each of them. We are very proud of the guys, and also want to acknowledge the rest of our players and coaches for their roles in helping our players reach this accomplishment."
Atlanta's gone 38-8 so far this season and the rest of the league has taken notice of that success. Al Horford will be making his third trip to the All-Star Game. He's seen his individual statistics decline a bit this season but there is no mistaking the impact that Horford's return from last season's pectoral injury has had on the team.
"I feel honored to represent the Hawks and the city of Atlanta again," Horford said. "I want to give credit to our coaches and my teammates, as I know I wouldn't be in this position without their support. I look forward to enjoying the time in New York and being a part of All-Star."
Paul Millsap will be making his second straight trip to the All-Star Game and has been one of Atlanta's steadiest and consistent contributors this season. He has scored in double figures in 42 games this season and has logged 11 double-doubles.
"It's a privilege to be an All-Star for the second straight year," Millsap said. "I know the success our team has had so far this season is a major factor, so my teammates and coaches are the reason that I have this opportunity. I'm proud to be representing them in New York."
Point guard Jeff Teague's All-Star journey might be the most satisfying for long time fans. Teague has enjoyed an up and down career in Atlanta and there were questions as to whether or not he could ever reach this level. He has shown steady improvement since becoming the team's starting point guard in 2012. His game has gone to another level in his second year under Budenholzer and is currently averaging career highs in points and assists while shooting 47 percent from the field.
He's become more of a leader and has put forth more of a consistent effort at both ends of the floor. The Hawks wouldn't be where they are today without Jeff Teague.
"I'd like to thank the Eastern Conference coaches," Teague said. "Being named to the All-Star team means a lot to me and to my family, and I'm going to truly enjoy the entire experience. I'm only as successful as the team, so my teammates and coaches share in this honor."
Atlanta also has two other players currently scheduled to take part in All-Star Weekend festivities. Second-year guard Dennis Schröder will take part in the Rising Stars Challenge as part of the World Team. Sharpshooter Kyle Korver will compete in the three-point contest and still has a shot at participating in the All-Star Game as an injury replacement.