Fratello: Spurs/Hawks model good for basketball


A weekly look at locals players in the NBA:

Jordan Adams, Grizzlies, Central Gwinnett High

Recalled from D-League assignment with Iowa on Jan. 26

Al-Farouq Aminu, Mavericks, Norcross High

Has seven games with 10-plus points this season

Chris Bosh, Heat, Georgia Tech

Named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Pistons, Georgia

Named a participant in the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend

Jae Crowder, Celtics, Villa Rica High

Averaging 5.0 points and 1.9 rebounds in 44 games

Derrick Favors, Jazz, Georgia Tech

Averaging 15.7 points and 8.6 rebounds in 42 games

J.J. Hickson, Nuggets, Wheeler High

Had 15 points and 14 rebounds vs. Boston Jan. 23 for fifth double-double in nine games

Dwight Howard, Rockets, Southwest Atlanta Christian

Had run of eight consecutive All-Star Game appearances snapped

Jarrett Jack, Nets, Georgia Tech

Had season-high 13 assists in loss to Hawks on Wednesday

Jeremy Lamb, Thunder, Norcross High

Averaging 7.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 32 games

Jodie Meeks, Pistons, Norcross High

Played a season-high 34 minutes at Philadelphia on Jan. 28

Anthony Morrow, Thunder, Georgia Tech

Averaging 9.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 39 games

Iman Shumpert, Cavaliers, Georgia Tech

Made Cavaliers debut on Jan. 23 with eight points on 3-of-3 shooting in 10 minutes off bench

Josh Smith, Rockets, McEachern High

Led team with 18 points on career-high tying 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range vs. Dallas on Jan. 28

Thaddeus Young, Timberwolves, Georgia Tech

Had game-high 26 points of 11-of-17 shooting at Hawks on Jan. 25

Lou Williams, Raptors, South Gwinnett High

Had 10th game with 20 or more points off the bench Jan. 28 vs. Sacramento

Note: Stats through Thursday

Former Hawks coach Mike Fratello thinks the long-time success of the Spurs and the current run of the Hawks are good for basketball and the NBA.

“It’s a great selling point for coaches, I’ll tell you that,” Fratello said. “The way San Antonio played at the end of last year, you had everybody’s attention going into training camp or summer league, saying ‘Look how they play basketball.’ I’d love to know how many coaches showed video highlights of San Antonio’s play in the finals against Miami. It was a clinic.

“It’s what you talk about of sharing and moving bodies and moving the ball, getting a good shot and then passing up that shot to get a better shot, no caring who is scoring the next basket. It was great for basketball, I thought.

“I mentioned it after the series, I had more people that didn’t know a darn thing about basketball and didn’t follow basketball say to me, ‘I enjoyed watching that. That was fun to watch them move the ball the way they did.’ I think that speaks for itself. That was good for our game. It was good for basketball.

“You see more college teams moving the ball rapidly this year. Bud is a product of that environment and I’m sure he’s preaching those same principles from San Antonio.”

Props from one shooter to another

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson scored 37 third-quarter points against the Kings on Jan. 23. He set the NBA record for points in a quarter by going 13-for-13 from the field, including 9-for-9 from 3-point range.

Hawks sharp shooter Kyle Korver marveled at the accomplishment.

“Boy he was hot,” Korver said. “It’s hard to get off nine 3’s in a game, let alone a quarter. Thirteen shots in game, for me, is hard to get, let alone 13 shots in a quarter. We got back that night (from win over Thunder) and a friend was over and he was on Twitter. He was like, ‘We’ve got to turn on the game.’ We saw the highlights. It was amazing.”

Playing with pace

The question gets asked often. Can the Hawks maintain their pace of play against an opponent that wants to slow it down? How about during the playoffs?

According to Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer that is a function of his team, not the opponent.

“We’ve got to get stops,” Budenholzer said. “A lot of times it’s hard to play at the pace you want if you aren’t playing well defensively. Even having said that, even when other teams score I think we emphasize getting the ball up the court and still playing and moving. And pace isn’t just shooting quickly on the clock. It’s doing everything with pace — screening, cutting hard. There are lots of things within that pace that we look at and emphasis. If they want to play slow offensively, we can’t really control that.”

Stotts not happy with Lillard snub

Terry Stotts stated it very clearly. The Portland Trail Blazers’ coach had something to get off his chest.

It concerned the fact that his point guard Damian Lillard was left off the Western Conference All-Star team.

In his words, as he addressed the media before Friday’s game against the Hawks: “I will just get this off my chest now. I don’t understand how or why he was not voted to the team to begin with. I don’t understand how or why he wasn’t named a replacement. The guy was an All-Star last year. He was a third-team All-Pro last year. He is having a better year this year. He has not missed a game — ever.

“He’s all about winning. We are having a better season in many ways than we did last year. He has proven to be the best clutch player in the league over the last couple of years. For him not to make the team, he’s been durable, he should have made it on his own merits. I’m extremely disappointed that he didn’t make it both as voted on and as a replacement.”

Lillard was not voted into the game, and the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins was selected by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace the injured Kobe Bryant earlier Friday.

Stotts was asked how the issue does not become a distraction.

“I don’t know if it is a distraction,” Stotts said. “It will be a story of the past eventually, but today it’s the story of the day. It’s very unfortunate. Damian has proven he should be on it. I thought he sent out a great tweet today and expressed himself very well. I think he’s going to have a great second half of the season.”


“We are poor historians. We don’t look backward too often.”

— Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer on already matching last season’s win total

“We don’t like each other. He didn’t like me when I was there, I didn’t like him when I was there.”

— Clippers’ Matt Barnes on Suns owner Robert Sarver

“I was tired.”

— Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on reason for cancelling morning shootaround

By the numbers

37: Third-quarter points for the Warriors' Klay Thompson last Friday, an NBA record for points in a quarter.

55: Career-high points for Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving in Wednesday's win over the Trail Blazers

13: Number of times this season (through Thursday) that all five Hawks starters have scored in double figures.