The Hawks, as expected, did not make a move at the NBA trade deadline. They elected to go into the final games of the regular season with the as-is roster. Although they could add a free agent, they are likely set.
I asked coach Mike Budenholzer Friday morning about the decision not to make a trade.
“We like our group,” Budenholzer said. “This is a group that we feel strongly about. I think (assistant general manager) Wes (Wilcox) and his group are always pushing us and always trying to find ways for us to get better. We appreciate that. We feel great about what we have.”
Were they close to a deal?
“The phone calls on the trade deadline, it’s a zoo,” Budenholzer said. “I think there is never anything that is close and then all of a sudden something happens. Those details are gray all the time.”
* It’s a key game against the Raptors, who are second in the East behind the Hawks.
“We probably look at like Toronto is a good team, very well coached, big, physical, they do a lot of things well,” Budenholzer said. “Their perimeter can score. There is a reason they’ve got a good record. They’ll test us and challenge us. It’s a good way to come back.”
Added Kyle Korver: “It’s a big game. They’ve beat us twice already this year. Hopefully, we’ll be ready and won’t be too rusty coming off the break.”
* On knocking the rust off from the long break, Budenholzer said the key will be the early part of the game. Korver agreed.
“You really focus on the start to begin with,” Korver said. “You try to get a good start. I thought we practiced decent the last couple of days and came out here and really blew it out. We did a lot of scrimmaging, a lot of running. Hopefully that carries over. We haven’t played a game in a lot of days and it’s easy to come out a little rusty.”
* Korver was one of the four Hawks players to have a limited break. After flying back from New York City on Monday and returning to practice on Wednesday, Korver, Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague had just one day off.
“I had every intention of playing golf on Tuesday,” Korver said. “And it was like 12 degrees. C’mon man.”
* On Thabo Sefolosha, out with a right calf strain, Budenholzer said he was progressing with no setbacks and the original 6-8 week time frame remains.
* I’ve been caught up the last couple of days with the All-Star Weekend, trade deadline and trying to get a little downtime. Let me know what you think about the Hawks’ decision not to make a deadline move.