Starting Five: Korver’s 3-point layup just fine with Hawks

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Hawks center Al Horford visited the Garden Hills Elementary School in Atlanta Tuesday. (Photo provided)


It has started to be called a 3-point layup.

When the Hawks are in transition, more and more an option is a Kyle Korver wide-open 3-pointer. Coach Mike Budenholzer still wants the first option for his team to get to the basket and score in the paint. However, you can’t argue with the long-range results.

Korver is shooting a league-leading .536 from 3-point range, the highest percentage for any player through 42 team games in NBA history.

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Kyle Korver continues to lead the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage. (Photo by Curtis Compton/AJC)

He has made at least three 3-pointers while shooting.500 or better in six consecutive games. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that is the second-longest streak in NBA history. Mookie Blaylock holds the record with an eight-game streak in the 1995-96 season.

Korver mentioned after the win in Chicago Saturday that in shooting 7 of 9 from long range several came in transition.

I asked Budenholzer Monday whether he was comfortable with a 3-pointer in transition.

“Kyle can shoot whenever he wants,” Budenholzer said. “Kyle can shoot coming out of the locker room.

“His teammates, and I think it’s great, that his teammates are becoming more and more aware of where he is and opportunities to get him good, clean looks. Playing with pace and playing with space is a huge part of what we want to do. That element has really been there from the beginning. It’s a credit to his teammates and their recognition and how they are looking for him and finding him. He runs so hard. His transition from defense to offense is really something that makes him more unique as a shooter.”

Korver is shooting .603 from the field and .630 (29 of 46) from 3-point range in the past seven games. He has made at least three 3-pointers, while shooting better than .500 from long range, in each of the past three games.

In addition to leading the NBA is 3-point percentage, Korver is second in free-throw percentage (.922), and tied for 19th in field goal percentage (.515). Among qualifiers, he is the only player in the league shooting at least .500 from the field and 3-point range and .900 from the free-throw line. He is also the only player ranked in the Top 20 of each category.

“It’s probably a little unnatural in transition,” Budenholzer said of the 3-pointer. “We still want to get to the basket and have more traditional fast breaks and more traditional 3-on-2s and 2-on-1s and score in the paint. As a player your mindset is attack, attack, attack. But they are starting to find a balance of when there are chances to be aware that Kyle may be trailing, Kyle may be open, without losing the balance of taking layups and getting to the basket in transition.

This and that

* Today is the debut of a weekly blog that will give me a chance to empty my notebook, so to speak. There is much information that I gather that never makes it into a story, the Sunday notebook or a blog and game thread. This will give me a chance to share that information. I’m still working on the name (suggestions welcome) and we will have a set day and time for it to appear (much like D. Orlando Ledbetter and Chip Towers have done with their coverage of the Falcons and Georgia, respectively).

* The Hawks 34-8 start continued to grab national attention. The Hawks did not practice Tuesday giving several players a chance to appear on national television. Elton Brand did a segment on ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption show. Al Horford visited the NBA TV studios for a segment.

* Earlier in the day, Horford continued his monthly visits to local schools as part of his commitment to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Horford visited Garden Hills Elementary School in Atlanta. The center toured the school, participated in physical activities including line dancing, and spoke with fourth and fifth graders to promote healthy living.

* Jeff Teague has started a Hoops 4 Hughes promotion to support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding.

Each year, Teague will donate $20 for each assist from the previous season. Last year, Teague had 563 assists resulting in a commitment of $11,260 from the Team Teague Foundation.

Teague is challenging Atlanta businesses and individuals to join him in supporting Hughes Spalding, a not-for-profit hospital in Atlanta. He wants two donors to be the presenting sponsors of the program and match his $20 per assist donation. He is also looking for 50 donors to make a $2 per assist donation for $1,126..

“We are thrilled to be the recipient of Teague’s support and hope that Atlanta community will rally around him to assist our patients at Hughes Spalding,” Shelton Stevens, Senior Development Officer and Director of the Children’s Sports Network, said in a statement.

* On the Hawks ownership front, there is nothing new to report. The financial book is still being prepared and won’t be ready for prospective buyers for another week or two.

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