Bazemore to start Game 3 for Hawks


VIDEO: GameTime: Korver out for remainder of playoffs

CLEVELAND — There is no replacing Kyle Korver, but Kent Bazemore will be the new man in the Atlanta Hawks’ starting lineup for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT).

With Korver’s season over because of a severely sprained ankle suffered in Game 2 on Friday, the Hawks are in a desperate situation without their most important offensive weapon. Whether Korver’s been shooting or not, the Atlanta offense has been at its best with him on the floor.

The new Hawks lineup started two regular season games — losses at Golden State and Oklahoma City in March — when Korver was out with a broken nose. But it has played just 66 total minutes together and less than six in the playoffs.

The film from the loss to the Warriors made it clear how much Korver was missed. Shooting is critical, not just for the shots that go in or out, but for the spacing it creates for others. There’s a reason that Korver has played more minutes with both DeMarre Carroll (1,749) and Bazemore (579) than Carroll and Bazemore have played together (478).

The Hawks have been outscored by 84 points in those 478 minutes. That’s partly because Bazemore/Carroll is somewhat of a situational combination, which has been on the floor for a lot more defensive possessions than offensive possessions. But the Atlanta offense hasn’t been great with the two on the floor together, scoring just 100.7 points per 100 possessions.

Still, the Cavs, like the Nets and Wizards before them, have done a good job of denying Korver his shots. And a different look from Bazemore could be a positive.

“He’s been attacking, driving, and getting to the basket well,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said of Bazemore. “As the playoffs have gone on, he’s kind of gotten a better feel and sense for when to attack.”

Bazemore has shot 7-for-9 in the series thus far. He’s 7-for-7 on 2-pointers and 0-for-2 on threes.

After Game 2, Bazemore said “I still think we’re the better team. We just haven’t shown it yet.”

From the opening tip of Game 3, he’ll get the chance to prove himself right.

“One the road, Game 3, backs against the wall,” Bazemore said Sunday, “We’re going to let it all hang out, go out there and just play some hoops.”

9 Comments

  1. Antonio p says:

    Kent vs.king should be good

  2. Jody says:

    Horford used his left hand to pull Dellavedova down and then aimed for his shoulder/glanced his head. Absolutely a Flagrant 2 and Horford’s own fault that Dellavedova almost fell down on his ankle.

  3. Itellsthetruth says:

    anyways. get ready for cavs vs gs. the the cavs losing in the finals in 4 or 5

  4. Skanthan says:

    i wanna see bazemore play in the finals against his old team, the warriors. that would be pretty interesting

  5. harriethehawk says:

    True. True. Bazemore has heart and I love it. Now they won’t have a cheerleader on the bench waving the towel, Oh, could be Shroeder. Let’s Go Hawks!!!!!

  6. Mitra says:

    It would be an interesting play between LBJ and Bazemore. Bazemore is stilla rooky and JBJ is the best player in the world.