With every NBA team having played 30+ games this season, it’s about that time where various lists of rankings begin to pop up. In that vein, ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle has taken a glance at the top 10 shooting guards for 2013-2014, and to the surprise of many (including myself, to be honest), the Hawks have a representative on the list.
Kyle Korver placed sixth for Doolittle, and this is what he had to say about the sharp-shooter:
Korver was ninth in the small forward rankings over the summer, but he has been used mostly as a shooting guard under coach Mike Budenholzer. Either way, his job is to shoot and no one does it better. Korver’s .651 effective field goal percentage leads the league, and his true shooting percentage (.664) is a career-best.
Well, it’s tough to argue with any of what Doolittle has to say here. Korver has started the great majority of the schedule at the shooting guard spot, and we all know how incredible of a shooting year he has produced. In addition to the 104-game 3-point shooting streak (which, as you probably know, is the all-time NBA record), his eFG% does lead the league, he’s 2nd in the league in 3-point percentage (47.0%), and 6th in the league in total 3’s made. Still, Kyle has been much more than a shooter this year (and for the entirety of his stay in Atlanta), as he is a vastly underrated team defender who also happens to be posting the highest assist rate of his decade-long career.
Doolittle’s rankings are based on a metric called TrueWARP (which ESPN created) that accounts for this season plus a baseline forecast from before the year, but any metric that gets Kyle to 6th in the NBA among shooting guards is one that I can support. To be fair, there are guys behind him that are probably better overall players (Gordon Hayward, to name one), but it’s also exciting to see a veteran like Kyle getting his due among the game’s best at his “new” position.