Kyle Korver: Will Offense Sputter After Surgeries?


Kyle Korver is coming of the best season in his NBA career, but after two offseason surgeries, will the Hawks’ offense sputter until he’s back to full strength?

Kyle Korver made his first NBA All-Star appearance in 2014-15, nearly having a 40-50-90 shooting season for the Atlanta Hawks. His ability to wear down opposing defenses with his unrelenting motor and dead eye shot from the perimeter allowed his teammates to have more space to make plays offensively.

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Korver was arguably the toughest off-ball shooter to defend in 2014-15. Boston Celtics HC Brad Stevens said the following about Kyle Korver: “You have to treat him like he averages 30, or else it could be 30.”

However, Kyle Korver’s magical 2014-15 NBA season came to a devastating end when Cleveland Cavaliers PG Matthew Dellavedova essentially dove at Korver’s ankle, breaking it in the process, to try to grab a loose ball in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

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Korver had to undergo surgery to repair his fractured ankle, as well as a procedure to remove “loose bodies” from his shooting elbow. Though Korver has averaged 19.2 MPG in the Atlanta Hawks’ five preseason games, can the Hawks’ offense play at a high level until Kyle is back to playing at 100%?

Kyle Korver is shooting .345/.368/1.000 this preseason, averaging 7.8 PPG and 3.0 RPG. He’s still hustling out there on the floor, but it may take a few weeks in the regular season for Korver to get back to shooting over 40% from both the floor and from 3-point range.

Fortunately for the Atlanta Hawks, the offensive system in place for HC Mike Budenholzer emphasizes perimeter offense, especially the corner three. With the Hawks’ best 3-point shooter in Kyle Korver recovering from surgery and the 2014-15 squad’s second best perimeter threat now playing for the Toronto Raptors in DeMarre Carroll, I believe in Bud’s system enough to know that someone else will emerge as a lethal threat from long-range this season.

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In my eyes, there are only two players on the Atlanta Hawks’ roster that present no threat from long distance: obviously Centers Tiago Splitter and Walter Tavares. Even C/PF Al Horford has improved his perimeter game (.444 from three) this preseason. PG Dennis Schroder, Wings Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha, and PF/C Mike Muscala are all shooting above a .400 clip from three this preseason.

The offensive system of Mike Budenholzer allows players to thrive by allocating them shots in areas of the court they feel comfortable shooting from. Kyle Korver still may have the most lethal outside shot of any player on the Atlanta Hawks, but no that Atlanta will do just fine offensively should Korver get off to a slow start on offense in 2014-15.

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