The Hawks started the season with a 114-99 win over the Wizards Thursday night and there were some good and some bad. It’s hard to argue with a victory and a 33-19 fourth quarter that led to it. There were also moments of inconsistency as well.
According to Kyle Korver, that is to be expected as the team incorporates new pieces in Dwight Howard at center and Dennis Schroder as new point guard.
Here is what he told me the day before the season-opener about the upcoming season.
“I think we are excited,” Korver said. “We’ve seen glimpses, a little bit in preseason games but especially on the practice court, of where we can go. Paul (Millsap) only played the last week and a half or so and we’re still incorporating him. We are still learning how to utilize Dwight and he’s learning how to play in our system still.
“Honestly speaking, we still have a ways to go. We want to be at our best in the spring. Even in a (recent) scrimmage, the first group started off and we were OK. Not great, OK. Then, things clicked for five, six, seven minutes. It was like ‘Ooooh, I like this a lot.’ It was really exciting. I think that is where we are at. We are going to have some moments when we are still figuring it out. There are still some things to learn, get comfortable with and learn how to utilize different pieces. There are moments, like ‘Mmmm, in the spring this could be really hard to deal with.’ That is what we are working toward.”
Korver had much the same to say after the Hawks victory. Good win but there is work to do.
He offered the following insight into working Howard into the offensive system.
“He gives us a physicality at a position that we just haven’t had to really control everything around the basket,” Korver said. “He is just size that we haven’t had since I’ve been here. We have to learn to utilize that better. We do a decent job but we can get much better using his strengths and he has never played in a motion offense before. He has to learn that there are three, four, five possible reads in pick-and-rolls in a possession. It has to keep going. That’s new to him.”