NEW YORK—“The Hawks takeover.”
That’s how Jeff Teague characterized All-Star Weekend, which was all about the city of New York but featured the Atlanta Hawks more prominently than any other team—even if nobody noticed.
The Hawks became the first team since the 2010-11 Boston Celtics to have four players featured in the event. Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap were selected as reserves by the coaches, and Kyle Korver was named as Dwyane Wade’s injury replacement.
That wasn’t all, though. Second-year point guard Dennis Schröder participated in the Skills Challenge and the Rising Stars Challenge. Teague also participated in the Skills Challenge, while Millsap participated in the Shooting Stars competition and Korver in the three-point contest. Not to mention the Eastern Conference team was coached by Mike Budenholzer and his staff.
The Hawks were everywhere.
But, much like this season, as omnipresent as they were, they didn’t draw attention to one player. The league’s unorthodox move of naming their entire starting five Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January was reflected in their All-Star minutes, as all four of the Hawks often played together on the floor with another player.
“It was fun,” Teague said. “We didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, so we just tried to get the ball to Jimmy [Butler] or Kyrie [Irving] when they were out there with us.”
Korver scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Teague added 14 points while Millsap had 8 and Horford had 5. Korver’s success came off a few plays that were drawn up much like the ones that get him looks in the Hawks’ system. But those nods to their normal style of play didn’t get in the way of the free-flowing nature of the game.
“I wanted to run a few plays,” Millsap said. “But then I had to realize it’s the All-Star Game.”
“We had signaled to run a couple of plays,” added Korver. “But we didn’t really run any plays. It’s just great for the Hawks and the city of Atlanta.”