Kyle Korver led all scorers during Atlanta’s Game 1 win over the Nets, finishing with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting, which included knocking down 5-of-11 from three-point distance.
But Nets coach Lionel Hollins wasn’t that impressed.
Despite the way Korver was able to get loose repeatedly against Brooklyn’s defense, Hollins doesn’t seem too concerned about game-planning to make sure that Game 2 doesn’t feature a repeat performance.
From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:
Told on Monday that Korver statistically could be the regarded as the greatest 3-point shooter of all time, the coach launched into a long answer about why it’s not worth focusing his planning on a player who, a day earlier, hit 5 of his 11 3-point attempts while scoring a game-high 21 points. …
“How many shots did he take yesterday and how many did he miss? See, if he’s that good, he’d make all of them.” Hollins said. “Everybody misses, man. He’s a good shooter, I acknowledge that, we acknowledge that as a team, we game plan for him because he is a great shooter. But until he starts shooting 100%, we’ve got to play and be in position to help, and then recover, and close out.
“It’s not like we’re talking (Stephen) Curry. Korver, he’s a great come-off-the-screen guy, he’s great with moving without the ball, but he rarely puts the ball on the floor like Curry and shakes you up.”
Hollins is right, but only to a certain extent.
Korver finished the regular season fifth on the Hawks in scoring, so the Nets focusing their defensive strategy on slowing Korver alone wouldn’t be likely to produce the desired results.
What Atlanta does so well is run an equal-opportunity offense that provides open looks for all of its players, possession after possession — it’s why Mike Budenholzer was able to come away with Coach of the Year honors.
Brooklyn’s best chance defensively would be to help as little as possible, do a better job of defending on a one-on-one basis, and stay at home on the shooters. Stopping Korver alone shouldn’t be the number one priority. But limiting his open looks, especially considering just how deadly he can be, should certainly be near the top of Hollins’ list.