Can anyone use a veteran three-point specialist wing player, one who shot 45.7 percent from deep last season?
A lot of teams can. In a league where floor spacing is more crucial than ever Kyle Korver has real value and he’s going to have a number of suitors as a free agent this summer.
But he likes Atlanta. And Atlanta likes him. So he could well be back in the ATL next season.
That’s what Korver said at his exit interview, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. We’ll start with the simple question: Kyle, have the Hawks said they want you back?
“Yes. They said they would like to work something out so we’ll talk in July.”
Would you want to come back?
“Yes. I really enjoyed by year here in Atlanta. I enjoyed the team. I enjoyed the organization. I believe Danny Ferry is going to do some great things here. I really think he is. I think it’s a great opportunity to bring in guys who are going to play fun basketball. I know the vision that he has, you know the kind of basketball that he likes to watch. I think he is going to bring in those types of guys. I like the same basketball that he likes. I’m very open to coming back here.”
Of course, it always comes down to money. Korver (like every free agent) will go where he gets paid the most. All the other factors — quality of team, minutes he can expect, weather, comfort in city — are secondary. Money talks.
Korver will have options. But Atlanta is a good one.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.