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May 5, 2015 Updates

Carroll’s playoff success is clearly a small sample size, but his progress is quite dramatic and will make him even more attractive this summer on the open market. His free agent status is something that Carroll said he isn’t thinking about right now. You can believe that if you want to, but players say what players believe they are supposed to say.“No, not right now,” Carroll said. “Right now I’m strictly focused on the playoffs. Trying to play team ball, trying to go far and hopefully win an NBA championship.” Whether he’s thinking about it or not, Carroll has likely earned himself a contract that could easily approach $8-9 million per season, according to colleague Michael Scotto’s April 22 column on free agent sleepers. SheridanHoops

Carroll also notched career highs in scoring, field goal percentage, offensive rating, win shares, win shares per 48 minutes and PER. He became a better defender and a strong two-way player because of, in part, his devotion to film and the game of basketball. “I watch basketball all day. Sometimes somebody’s gotta tell me to turn it off because that’s all I do,” Carroll said. “In order to be a good defender, you’ve got to educate yourself on the position and the way you need to be and the IQ of being a defensive stopper.” SheridanHoops

However, back-cuts along the baseline and quick dips to the basket from the wing will always be his bread and butter. In an August 2014 interview with Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling, Carroll acknowledged how Budenholzer has helped hone his go-to skills. "He showed me a lot—that spacing is very big in the NBA, that cutting and slashing at the right time is very big, footwork is very big," he said. "He has kind of re-invented my career." Bleacher Report

May 4, 2015 Updates
May 2, 2015 Updates

Clearly, Chicago was playing at a high level. But which team will show up against Cleveland? "When you look at the playoffs, you see how tough all the games are," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Watching Atlanta-Brooklyn, it's the same thing. There's not a big difference between (the No. 1 seed) and eight. You have to play for 48 minutes. We're up 3-0 with the ball with 20 seconds to go and a chance to close it out in four, and (if) you don't do it, that can be the difference, too. Hopefully, you do that each and every game. You've got to give your best and play hard and be smart, take your best shot." USA Today Sports

May 1, 2015 Updates

You have to scan down to third place for the biggest statement in the voting. Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer. After GM Danny Ferry was placed on indefinite leave in the wake of inappropriate racial comments he made on a conference call about prospective free agents, Budenholzer was thrust into two roles he'd never done before. A first-year head coach, Budenholzer also had to take over the de facto GM duties. That was no doubt reflected in some of the four first-place and five second-place votes, plus one vote for third, that Budenholzer received. But something else was at work here. As one exec told me, “Bud had nothing to do with constructing the team.” Thus, some of those votes also were a reflection of things that were done before Budenholzer even got to Atlanta. Things that were done by Ferry. Indeed, multiple GMs told CBSSports.com Friday that at least some of the votes cast for Budenholzer – the only official entrant for the Hawks in the executive of the year voting – were essentially proxy votes for Ferry. CBSSports.com

A journeyman during the early stages of his career, Carroll has found a home in Atlanta and is the embodiment of of the team's holistic approach. When he first arrived as a free agent, the Hawks envisioned him as a Bruce Bowen complimentary player. Once they understood his talent more, the comparison became Kawhi Leonard. "My biggest thing is defense," Carroll said earlier in the series. "I'm gonna stick with defense, I'm gonna hang my hat on defense. At the same time, who says I can't get better on offense?" SB Nation

"My career didn't get off to the best start," Carroll said. "Right then everyone was saying, 'Is he a three, is he a four?' Then Zach Randolph got hurt and they stuck me at the four and I'm guarding guys like [Kevin Garnett]. I'm nothing but 205 pounds. "At the same time, I feel like this is my second year all over," he continued. "Last year I was a rookie and this is my second year. I feel like a better player, a more mature player. Not straying away from who I am, thinking I can be the Kobe or the LeBron or the KD, just being who I am. That's the Junkyard Dog doing the nitty and gritty things." SB Nation

April 30, 2015 Updates
April 29, 2015 Updates
April 28, 2015 Updates

The Knicks have 10 roster spots to fill, and Brand said he hopes to hear from Jackson again. According to a friend of his mother’s, Daisy always hoped Brand would finish his career with the Knicks. Brand said he also may consider hanging it up after 16 seasons. New York Post

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN HAWKS HISTORY

While arguably the most popular, Dominique Wilkins is not the best player in franchise history.

   

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