Sunday May 29th, 2016 3:40PM

NBA 2013-14: Hawks keep up their transformation

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- After another round of training camp introductions the Atlanta Hawks are ready for Year 2 of their massive makeover.

The Hawks have only two players who were with the team just two seasons ago, center Al Horford and point guard Jeff Teague, opting for a complete transformation of a franchise that has long been a consistent playoff contender but never a championship threat.

General manager Danny Ferry started the process a year ago, letting go Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams to rid the team of two cumbersome contracts. This year, the GM didn't make much of an effort to keep longtime stalwart Josh Smith, who moved on to Detroit, and replaced him with Paul Millsap.

While the Hawks have yet to become an attractive destination for big-name free agents - they were rebuffed this past summer by Dwight Howard, who passed on a chance to come home to Atlanta - Ferry hopes to change that by turning Philips Arena into San Antonio East.

Ferry once worked for the Spurs, and he brought in Mike Budenholzer, a longtime assistant under Gregg Popovich, to bring that same team-first mentality to the Hawks.

Budenholzer's tenure in Atlanta got off to a rocky start when he was arrested for DUI, and it's going to take some time for the players to adjust to the motion offense he wants to play.

"It's constant movement," Horford said. "We've got to make sure we're all on the same page. If we don't, then we look stupid."

But Popovich is convinced the Hawks have the right guys for the job in Ferry and Budenholzer.

"In this league, having that synergy between management and coaching is huge. A lot of people don't have it. They build walls and there's territory and that kind of stuff," the Spurs coach said. "It's going to be a bit of a restart with the change of personnel and putting in a new system. But I think developing the culture for the long run is what they're all about."

Five things to watch for with the 2013-14 Atlanta Hawks:

AL'S TEAM: Heading into his seventh season, this is clearly Horford's team now. He's the only holdover among the core group largely responsible for six straight trips to the playoffs. Budenholzer is counting on his 6-foot-10 center to provide leadership on the court and in the locker room. Horford, meanwhile, is hoping the new system takes some of the burden off him - especially at the defensive end, where he's always been a power forward forced to play a post role.

MR. OUTSIDE: Kyle Korver has made at least one 3-pointer in 73 consecutive games, a franchise record and the longest active streak in the NBA. He was the only unrestricted free agent the Hawks made a serious effort to keep off last year's team. Korver's accuracy beyond the arc is an important factor for the undersized Hawks. Last season, he averaged 10.9 points and 45.7 percent shooting from 3-point range.

TEAGUE'S CONSISTENCY: The Hawks made it clear Teague a big part of their future when they matched Milwaukee's four-year, $32 million offer sheet. He put up career highs in scoring (14.6 points a game) and assists (7.2), ranking 12th in the league in the latter category. While Teague has made steady improvement during his four years in the league, he must be more consistent. There are nights when he's dynamic, others when you wouldn't know he's there. Also, he tends to be a scorer first, a passer second - a mindset that Budenholzer will look to adjust.

WHERE'S LOU: The Hawks will begin the season without their best scorer off the bench, Lou Williams, who was averaging 14.1 points a game when he went down with a season-ending knee injury. He's still not fully recovered, depriving the team of a creative offensive threat, at least in the early part of the season. He was able to take part in some drills during training camp, but nothing too strenuous. Budenholzer knows this will be a better team once Williams is finally available.

STOPPING THE OTHER GUYS: The guard-heavy Hawks will like be the smaller team against nearly every opponent. Horford has essentially played out of position his whole career, which is why Ferry went after Howard. Alas, the big center signed with the Rockets, so Horford will again be forced to bang in the lane with bigger, bulkier centers. The Hawks hope newcomers Millsap and Elton Brand can take some of the defensive burden off the team's best player.
© Copyright 2016
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 2 years ago )
Falcons fire offensive, defensive line coaches
The Atlanta Falcons have fired defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn.
7:02PM ( 2 years ago )
Best, worst of Falcons' 4-12 season
Best Game: They'd been eliminated from playoff contention previous week vs. New Orleans, but the Falcons showed some heart with Dec. 1 overtime victory over Bills in Toronto.
6:21PM ( 2 years ago )
Gonzalez's career ends with another Falcons loss
Tony Gonzalez is ready for the next chapter of his life.
9:47PM ( 2 years ago )
Professional Sports
Baseball: Panthers, Dragons dominate Region 8-AAA All-Region selections
Region 8-AAA continued to be a major player in Class AAA in 2016 with Jackson County getting within one win of the state championship round.
9:23AM ( 6 hours ago )
Golf: Ralston, Forrester amongst 11 area golfers named All-State
Gainesville's Spencer Ralston was named Class AAAAA boys player of the year, while North Hall's Bartley Forrester was named first team for Class AAAA boys in the 2016 Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association (GHSGCA) All-State team released this week.
By AccessWDUN Staff
9:01AM ( 6 hours ago )
The hype is back at Indy and everyone wants to win the 100th
Tony Kanaan spent the final practice before the Indianapolis 500 talking to the race track. He wanted to be kind to the old lady, to land in her good graces before the historic 100th running of "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing."
By The Associated Press
9:00AM ( 6 hours ago )
Baseball: 2016 Region 7-AAA All-Region team
After a rebounding season for Region 7-AAA as a whole, the 2016 Region 7-AAA All-Region baseball team was released on Friday.
8:10AM ( 7 hours ago )
Martin: NASCAR HOF class features close connections
For Mark Martin, election to the NASCAR Hall of Fame was an unexpected honor, and it’s just coincidence that the 40-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race-winner has such strong simpatico with his fellow 2017 class members.
By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 7 hours ago )