So, I continued my informal poll of Eastern Conference coaches by asking which Hawks player (or players) they would vote for as All-Star reserves.
Tonight, I asked Pacers coach Frank Vogel. Here is our exchange:
Me: The Hawks are just a balanced team. Who do you think is their All-Star?
Me: OK, plural.
Vogel: (Al) Horford, (Paul) Millsap and (Jeff) Teague. And maybe (Kyle) Korver. I think they have three for sure.
Me: You would vote that way?
In other items:
* I also asked Vogel what is different about this year’s Hawks team, compared to the one that pushed his top-seeded Pacers to seven games in last year in the first-round playoff series.
“Not a whole lot, to be honest with you,” Vogel said. “I felt like they were playing at this level last year. There was a lot written and said about us not being able to handle the eighth-seeded Hawks. None of us in our organization felt that. I think Mike (Budenholzer) turned this thing around last year and it’s been enhanced by another year of continuity and the addition of Al Horford.”
* Budenholzer said John Jenkins, just recalled from the NBA Development League, will be active tonight against the Pacers due to the injury to Shelvin Mack.
* I asked Budenholzer if he cared to comment about being one win away from coaching the Eastern Conference All-Stars.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Budenholzer said.
The coach was asked if he would talk about the assignment after the spot is clinched.
“We’ll see,” he said.
* George Hill is out for the Pacers with a left groin strain.