In today’s links the Hawks signing of Mike Budenholzer is the highlight. Also, be sure to check back on the site at 11:00 to hear our latest podcast. In this one, Brad and I discuss Mike Budenholzer in more of an in-depth manner, and also touch on some of the latest developments with the Atlanta Braves. If you don’t want to wait until then however, be sure to visit our Podomatic Page and you can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!
NBA–The official release of the Hawk’s new head coach, Mike Budenholzer:
The Atlanta Hawks have named Mike Budenholzer (BEW-den-holzer) the team’s new head coach, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. Budenholzer becomes the 12th full-time head coach in Hawks history. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.
“We are thrilled to have Mike as the next coach of the Atlanta Hawks. He has an incredible basketball acumen and has a keen awareness of the league and what it takes to be successful,” Ferry said. “His experience and four championships over the last 17 years provide a tremendous foundation for his leadership of our team.”
Budenholzer, 43, spent the past 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, including the final 17 seasons as an assistant coach. For the last six seasons, he has served as the team’s no. 1 assistant to current San Antonio Head Coach Gregg Popovich, the longest-tenured head coach in major professional sports and third-winningest coach (by percentage – .681) in NBA history behind only Phil Jackson and Billy Cunningham.
The most likely man for the Braves to consider is a rather obvious one when you look at the track records. Kris Medlen has proven his ability out of the bullpen. In fact, before last season’s historic 10-win second half, Medlen wasn’t even regarded as a mainstay in the starting rotation. For most of his young career, Medlen was the long reliever that you knew could give you a start here and there. His 18 starts and 50 relief appearances through 2009 and 2010 speak to his versatility and effectiveness in both roles. Medlen’s 1-5 record this season only further simplifies the equation. Why not move Medlen back to the bullpen as the versatile strike thrower in favor of Beachy’s prowess as a starter?
Well here’s why. Brandon Beachy is set to return in mid-June, with roughly 3 ½ months left to finish the season. By the time October rolls around, Beachy will barely be ready to stretch starts into the 7th and 8th innings of games. Like it or not, the smart move with Beachy is the same one that played out perfectly with Medlen. Give him the time to regain strength in the bullpen. Give the ball to Beachy when a starter can’t get out of the 4th or when you need to bridge the gap from the 6th to the 9th. Let Beachy ease back into swing of Major League Baseball will incremental relief appearances and not five inning starts. When Spring Training 2014 rolls around, you bet he’ll have a spot in the rotation. But for now, it’s in everybody’s best interest to give Beachy the 6th bullpen slot instead of handing the ball to Medlen in the 6thinning of every Beachy start.
TalkingChop–Scott Coleman believes the Braves could benefit from sliding Heyward into center field for a while, giving Evan Gattis more plate appearances, and allowing BJ Upton to fix his issues. I have to say I like this idea:
This change allows the Braves to continue giving Gattis regular plate appearances whileB.J. essentially resets his season in the batting cage. The current plan is to sit the enigmatic outfielder for a day or two, but I would go with this lineup for at least a handful of games.
What’s the worst that could happen with B.J. struggling so badly right now?
After a week, bring Upton back into the lineup. Hope for the best. Assuming everyone is still healthy, then go back to the formula the Braves have used successfully the past month: start Gattis once or twice each week, and have him continue to come off the bench late in games as the top pinch-hitting option.
SoaringDownSouth–In case you need more Budenholzer news to get you really jazzed up for the Hawks season:
Since the Hawks season ended with a first round loss to the Indiana Pacers, little was known or reported about likely replacements for former Hawks coach Larry Drew. Earlier last week, however, ESPN’s Chris Brussard had reported that many people within the NBA considered Budenholzer to be Danny Ferry’s coach of choice. Today, those people within the league were proven correct.
Budenholzer was part of four NBA titles with the Spurs (1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007). He has been with the Spurs for the past 19 years, since the arrival of current Spurs coach Greg Popovich. As of this moment, there has been no announcement of a press conference to formally introduce Mike Budenholzer as the Hawks new head coach.
BloggingDirty–Robert Stephens gives us his thoughts on what Richard Seymour could do for the Falcons defense if he is brought in over the offseason:
If Richard Seymour did sign, what kind of impact would he have?
That would depend on how healthy he is. His career is spotty with injuries, but I don’t think that would be too big of a worry. Mike Smith has his old guy club that doesn’t have to practice as often. Also, the Defensive tackles work in a rotation that would keep him fresh. But I do believe this guy can play. He’s old, but last year he had 3 sacks while only playing in half the amount of games. That would have been a 6-sack season and that’s damn good for a 4-3 DT at his age. If he was in Atlanta, he would probably be kept healthier, but wouldn’t see quite as much play time. That’s another reason why Atlanta wouldn’t want to pay too much for the guy, but he could have a decent year or two before his retirement.
If he were to sign with the Falcons I would expect to see 3-4 sacks, but a lot more productions with the rotation than last season. There would be constant pressure up the middle. With Osi on the outside, and if Goodman turns out to be a hit (see what I did there) the defensive line could become a strength.
Seymour could be real beneficial for the right price. But overpay for him, and I’ll be writing reasons he isn’t a fit. We can only hope for the best.