Oh what a season it's been thus far. We've had several 50 point explosions, highlight dunks and game-winners galore. Blockbuster trades, records broken and devastating injuries.
Hawks on fire
Even with all this going on, by far the biggest surprise to everyone, including myself, has been the red-hot Atlanta Hawks.
Currently with the most wins in the NBA and a comfortable seven and a half game lead over the rest of the East, the Hawks are a lock to make a huge playoff run.
Their combination of unselfishness, ball-movement and a team first attitude has allowed them to dominate the rest of the NBA highlighted by a 19-game winning streak. When voting for this year's All-Star game in New York opened many experts and analysts said that the Hawks should be recognised for their success and, although none of them were voted by fans into the starting lineup, Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap were given spots on the reserves.
Korver gets the spot
Recently, All-Star reserve Dwayne Wade announced that he would miss the game due to injury and a debate popped up on who should get his spot. The two main candidates were Brandon Knight of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks with Korver getting the spot.
Brandon Knight has had a great season so far. He and his Bucks currently sit in the sixth seed of the Eastern-Conference and Brandon has lead the charge. Currently averaging 17.7 points per game along with a career-high 40.7% from three-point range you could definitely argue his case for an All-Star nod, had Korver not been in the picture.
Why the choice is more than obvious
Where do I start with Kyle Korver? Let's begin with the obvious; Kyle Korver currently is leading the NBA in both made three-point field-goals and three-point percentage.
He has made so far 160 treys, and is knocking them down at an incredible 52.8%. I'll let that sink in. The next most accurate shooter is Courtney Lee who is shooting 45.8%.
Korver is seven percentage points higher than the next most accurate shooter. Again I'll let that sink in. And it's not like he's getting lots of wide open shots. He is often tightly guarded but it doesn't matter. He is just that good.
It's not just his three-point shooting which is amazing. He is shooting 51.6% from the field and 92% from the free-throw line. Forget the exclusive 50/40/90 club, Korver is on course to record the first ever 50/50/90 season. One more time, I'll let that sink in.
Korver's presence on the floor is a pivotal park of the Hawks offence. When he is on the court he commands so much respect from defenders that it drastically opens up the floor for players like Horford and Millsap to operate down low and for Jeff Teague to drive to the rim.
The Hawks score 3.9 more points per 100 possessions when Korver is on the floor as opposed to on the bench. He currently has six win shares which estimates how many games a certain player has won for his team. His offensive rating, which shows how many points he produces every 100 possessions is 126.5 which ranks him 4th in the NBA. Basically, Kyle Korver is an offensive mastermind and nobody can shut him down.
The Bigger Picture
There are now four Atlanta Hawks playing for the East this All-Star game along with their coach Mike Budenholzer. This represents so much more than just the individual selections.
Basketball is a team sport. Playing together in a team will always lead to success and the Hawks have shown this repeatedly through the season. Their four selections should set an example that playing in a team should be rewarded. Instead of trying to pad your stats to get voted in by the fans, players should remember that if you win games, you'll always be on peoples' minds.
The Hawks have arguably been the best team this season and the plethora of All-Star selections is a worthy reward. With Korver featuring in both this year's three-point contest and the All-Star game, Kyle the marksman will certainly leave his mark on this year's festivities.