At the beginning of the season I said Kyle Korver looks disinterested to be here, will be a huge defensive liability and should not even be in the starting lineup.
Well, it looks like I was wrong on all accounts.
I had also questioned why the Hawks would get rid of a great on ball defensive player and decent shooter in Kirk Hinrich for a one-dimensional player in Korver since they just drafted one (John Jenkins) and acquired another one (Anthony Morrow) via trade.
For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about or just refuse to agree with me, shame on you and pay close attention to what I am about to say:
Coming into this season, the Atlanta Hawks had a huge gaping hole at the wing position since no one on the team outside of Josh Smith has the size to play it. With this glaring weakness, many of us guessed that this new Atlanta Hawks team would have to try and become a fast-break team mixed in with long distance shooting. When running the break, there will be times that the 3-point line will be free and in order for Atlanta to take advantage, they need an accurate sniper on the perimeter.
This is where Kyle Korver and his specialty is introduced.
Korver does a great job getting himself open shots because the guy is in constant motion on offense, running around players and coming off screens. Add in his incredibly fast release and you have one of the toughest assignments for opposing defenders.
Korver currently leads the NBA in 3-point percentage, shooting .461 from the perimeter, while ranking third in three-point field-goals made per game (2.7), and fourth in 3-pointers made overall (147), respectively.
In short, Kyle is shooting lights out.
Did I mention he holds the Hawks’ franchise record for hitting at least one 3-pointer in 53 straight games? Well, yeah, there’s that too.
He is also inching up on former Hawks great Mookie Blaylock to become the new 31st all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He went 1-of-3 from downtown Wednesday against Philadelphia, giving him 1,281 all-time. Mookie has 1,283. Next on the list is retired Trailblazers guard Terry Porter with 1,297 and former Knicks great Allan Houston with 1,305.
Giving Kyle’s ability, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tied or passed Mookie’s record next game and passed the others by the end of the season.
Before I continue to drool over Korver’s incredible shooting ability, lets take a second to step away and look at how impressive he has been on the defensive end.
If you go to a home game when Phillips Arena is empty (please hold off on jokes), you can hear the players on the floor and you realize that Kyle is one of the more vocal players on this team — especially on the defensive end. You can hear him yelling instructions and directions of who to cover and when a screen will come.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that he isn’t completely useless on the defensive end like when I was forced to watch those years when Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford would try to stay with their man. Kyle isn’t exactly a defensive stopper but he plays great team defense by always closing out on a defender, challenging a shot and going in to crash the boards. As long as you don’t leave him on an island, he is actually not that bad.
So before I leave you with your thoughts, I just want to remind you all that Korver does way more besides hitting those cold blooded 3-pointers. Next time you watch him look at what he does on both ends of the floor and how he is always trying to get open. Korver is the only player on this team that I have faith in that can shoot us back into a game. If you don’t agree let the highlight film below remind you of when he did.