Count Kyle Korver as another Hawks player who is tired of talking about an inconsistent first half of the season and one eager to get started on the final 27 regular-season games.
Korver spoke Thursday, before the NBA trade deadline, and expressed his desire to move on with a team playing better basketball.
“We all know what is possible,” Korver said. “It would be great once this (trade deadline) week is all behind us, we can just focus on doing what we know how to do. Come with greater intensity, greater focus. With the season coming to an end, that will help us do that. We’ve done enough talking and had enough little meetings and conversations that we all know what is expected of us. It’s time for us to go out there and do it. Quit talking about it. Quit expecting it to just happen. Go out there and make it happen.”
The Hawks begin the stretch run with a five-game homestand starting with the Heat Friday night. At 31-24, the Hawks will already finish with a worse record than the historic 60-win campaign last season. There is still plenty to play for with the team in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Hawks players said this week the key will be coming to play with the right mindset and intensity. It was something they may have taken for granted over most of the first 55 games of the season.
“You always here Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson and those guys say it’s one thing to get to the top, it’s another thing to stay there,” Korver said. “Not that we won a championship, but there was a lot of ‘Good jobs’ last year to us. People patted us on the back and said ‘That was really great and fun.’ It’s easy to have a little step back mentally from that. We did that early and we were trying to play catch-up. We didn’t hit our full stride. I’m tired of talking about it. I’m ready to go out there and play hard and play well and win some games.”
Kent Bazemore was succinct in summing up the attitude going forward.
“We are looking for a chance to redeem ourselves from that first half of the season,” Bazemore said.
The Hawks also host the Bucks, Warriors, Bulls and Hornets on the homestand. That is followed by a five-game western trip. There will be only three games against Western Conference teams following the trip.