The Spurs playbook Mike Budenholzer brought from San Antonio remains largely intact.
There was no scene with the new Hawks head coach flipping through pages – deciding to keep this one and to throw away that one. However, after 19 seasons as a Spurs assistant, Budenholzer is stamping his own brand on the Hawks offense.
“It was probably a lot more ‘I like this,’” Budenholzer said of adapting his offense from that of the Spurs. “But there are things that we can tweak and adjust to our personnel to take our playbook, the Hawks playbook, and make it fit our guys.”
The process of installing a new offense to a roster of at least seven new players began Tuesday with the first practice of training camp. The two-a-day sessions are being held at the Coliseum Training Facility on the campus of the University of Georgia. It is the first time the Hawks will hold training camp away from Atlanta since the 2004-05 season.
What can Hawks fans expect this season from the offense? In three words: movement, movement and movement.
“In really, really simplistic terms, we want to see the ball move and we want to see people move, which, I think, is becoming more common in the NBA,” Budenholzer said. “If you are thinking about the old school NBA there would be a lot of people standing and the ball not moving. There has been more people movement and more ball movement across the league and we want to do the same thing.”
The Hawks will try to play through the post early in the shot clock but move into pick-and-roll and screen sets if that option is not there. No one should be standing around waiting for a shot and or an opportunity to go one-on-one.
The Hawks looked to take advantage of matchups frequently last season frequently, especially with Josh Smith in the post. Smith is gone after signing with the Pistons in the offseason.
“If we all buy into what coach is telling us, the offense is going to be good,” center Al Horford said. “It’s going to be a process. … (Last season) we were more of an isolation team at times, held the ball a lot more. Now, we want to create movement.”
The Hawks will also look to move the ball because of their size. Like last season, this is not a big team. Horford will start at center at 6-foot-10. He, along with Pero Antic, Gustavo Ayon and Elton Brand are listed as forward/center. Antic is the tallest player on the roster at 6-11.
Kyle Korver, who signed a four-year deal with the Hawks as an unrestricted free agent this summer, returned in large part because of the offense.
“We are going to execute sets,” Korver said. “There is going to be floor spacing. There is going to be a game plan in place as to how we are going to guard the pick-and-roll, of how we are going to guard isolations. We are going to stick to that game plan well. … We are not just going to give someone the ball and say ‘Make it happen.’
“If you are a basketball purist, you are going to like watching us play. I believe that. It’s not going to be selfish basketball. It’s not going to be one-one-one. It’s not going to be isolation. There is going to be ball movement. There is going to be screening. There is going to be cutting. It’s the kind of basketball that I like, that I grew up watching and was taught.”
Training camp notes: Lou Williams (torn right ACL) was a limited practice participant. The guard did not take part in five-on-five drills. … Guard Jeff Teague (sprained right wrist) was a full participant. … Mike Scott sat out part of practice after suffering a slight ankle injury. … The first unit in scrimmages consisted of Teague, Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap and Horford. … The second unit consisted of Dennis Schroder, John Jenkins, James Johnson, Antic and Brand.