HoopsHype Mike Budenholzer rumors

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April 18, 2015 Updates

Koonin, the team’s chief executive officer, declined a recent interview request to discuss Ferry’s status. Many of the players, meanwhile, have expressed their support for Ferry. Budenholzer, in a brief interview last week, credited much of the team’s success to Ferry, whom he described as a close friend. Budenholzer said he had been in regular contact with Ferry. “I think it’s probably important to both of us that those conversations are somewhat private,” Budenholzer said. “It’s safe to say that we talk about everything.” New York Times

April 13, 2015 Updates

Me: What is the process like between you and Bud or the other coaches when it comes to making suggestions for sets, for tweaks, any types of changes? How receptive are they? Kyle Korver: Very. Bud, I mean, it's such an interactive exchange. Every coach says they have an open-door policy. Every coach says that. But there's also a lot of guys who Bud has a good amount of respect for, and how guys play. No one's out there to draw up plays that I can score on? It's how do we get this concept rolling so we can score on that team? So when you come at it with that point of view, when it's a discussion about the team, I think both sides, we obviously are going to respect whatever Bud says, and I think he thinks the same about us. NBA.com

With Ferry on an indefinite leave of absence, Budenholzer was the Hawks nomination for the NBA’s Executive of the Year award the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday. Budenholzer was named head of basketball operations in September. “Anyone who has followed the Hawks for the last two or three years knows that Danny Ferry is the executive who is most responsible for the makeup of our team,” Budenholzer said Sunday before the Hawks played the Wizards. “Danny is responsible for me being here. Our team is in a good place. I’m very grateful to work with such good players and with such a great staff.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

April 12, 2015 Updates
April 11, 2015 Updates

With general manager Danny Ferry on a leave of absence the entire season, the Hawks submitted head coach Mike Budenholzer for consideration in voting for the NBA’s Executive of the Year Award, a person familiar with the situation told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

April 9, 2015 Updates

Sefolosha and Antic were released before the game but were not on the Hawks’ bench. The All-Star Paul Millsap was also inactive because of a shoulder injury. “We’re very supportive of our players,” Hawks Coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game. “You never want to put yourself in a position where you can bring negativity to yourself or the organization or your teammates. But they’re great guys. I think right now what’s most important is to support them.” New York Times

April 8, 2015 Updates
March 24, 2015 Updates
March 16, 2015 Updates

Spend some time around the Hawks, and one word continues to surface: vitamins. It is a metaphor for their philosophy, and it helps explain their record, 51-14 through Friday. They take their vitamins when they hit the cold tub for treatment. They take their vitamins when they lift weights. They take their vitamins when they study film and watch their diets. Above all, they take their vitamins when they head to the gym for individual skill sessions with Budenholzer’s assistants. New York Times

Budenholzer, who acknowledged appropriating the vitamin concept from a fellow assistant with the Spurs, seeks consistent improvement. In Atlanta, he has his players spend as much time working one-on-one with members of his staff as they do in traditional team practice settings. He wants opportunities for Paul Millsap to hone his outside shooting touch and for Jeff Teague to identify passing angles and for Kyle Korver to add a floater to his repertoire. New York Times

Once the coaches decide on the schedule — they try to form a consensus, although Budenholzer has veto power — they debrief Wally Blase, the head athletic trainer, who sends late-night text messages to the players with the various times they are expected to report to the arena. Blase also lets the players know which coaches have been assigned to work with them for their vitamin sessions. Typically, no two players have the same schedule, so communication is vital. “We do everything but send smoke signals over their houses just to make sure they know what’s going on,” Atkinson said. New York Times

For Kent Bazemore, most of his vitamin sessions have centered on his reconfigured shooting stroke. Not long after Bazemore signed with the Hawks last year, he began working with the assistant coach Ben Sullivan, who picked apart Bazemore’s mechanics. Bazemore had an elongated motion, and the ball tended to come off his ring finger and pinkie. “Ben’s a very forward guy,” Bazemore said. “He pretty much said, ‘I’ve been looking at your jumper, and I honestly don’t know how you make shots.’ ” New York Times

March 15, 2015 Updates
March 10, 2015 Updates

Shortly after sharpshooter Kyle Korver joined the Hawks 2½ years ago, he told Teague how he liked to receive passes when racing around pin-down screens. “He’d never been taught stuff like that,” Korver recalls. “It wasn’t his fault. It was how he’d been programmed.” Rather, it was how he’d been re-programmed. When Shawn watched the Hawks, he cringed, wondering where the kid from The SportZone had gone. “He hated how we played,” Teague says of his father. “He wasn’t even a Hawks fan. He was a Spurs fan.” Sports Illustrated

Budenholzer installed his version of the read-and-react offense, with hints of Popovich and Mike D’Antoni. “We’ve basically got two plays—strong and weak,” Teague explains. “That gets us into positions, but from there, we all have to make split-second decisions on what we do out of it: maybe a high pick-and-roll, or a dribble handoff, or Kyle coming around a screen. We look at the defense and just do what feels right. Other teams will call out, ‘Thumb four!’ and we know exactly what they’re going to do. No one knows what we’re going to do because we don’t even know ourselves. It’s like controlled pickup.” Sports Illustrated

March 3, 2015 Updates
February 25, 2015 Updates

Meanwhile, the Warriors evolved as a team, due in part to Jackson’s influence. He emphasized individual skill development, mandating that every player put in at least 15 minutes of extra work with an assistant coach. A pastor at a non-denominational church in Reseda, Ca, Jackson had an uncanny knack for fostering an us-against-them mentality. To this day, the Warriors still exit each huddle yelling “Just Us!”, a unifying chant that began in the Jackson era. Upon his hiring, Jackson had immediately – and foolishly – promised that the team would make the playoffs in his first season. The Warriors didn’t, and wouldn’t for two more years, but Jackson’s formidable public confidence and oratorical skill – which, says one team source, is what got him the job over then-Spurs-assistant Mike Budenholzer, because, “Of course Mark’s going to win the interview” – buoyed the players’ confidence. Sports Illustrated

February 23, 2015 Updates

As you can see, the Hawks have cut back on their pull-up attempts, reapportioning nearly all of those possessions into six extra drive attempts per game. Again, these numbers may appear marginal, but they’re actually drastic. Atlanta went from taking the fifth-most pull-ups in 2013–14 to tying for the least so far in 2014–15. No other team has come close to Atlanta’s dropoff of 3.9 pull-up attempts per game from season-to-season: Medium

Make no mistake, leading the league in catch-and-shoots while attempting the league’s fewest pull-ups does not happen coincidentally. It’s a calculated decision to infuse the gameplan with higher efficiency shots. Head coach Mike Budenholzer probably recognizes this, but won’t let on with the media: “I don’t know if it’s a strategy,” said Budenholzer. “We want to attack the rim and score there first. We want to have spacing around our rim and paint attack. So it probably lends itself a bit to more points at the basket. And if it’s taken away, we move the ball for catch-and-shoot opportunities. Our personnel is built that way, so I don’t know if it’s totally by design. I think a lot of things kind of just go that way.” Medium

February 11, 2015 Updates

"What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher and a coach," Budenholzer, the Atlanta Hawks' coach, said. "It seemed liked something I would really enjoy. There wasn't a lot of wavering and doubt about what I wanted to do." USA Today Sports

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