Korver on move to bench: Winning is all that matters

With the game well in hand Hawks Kyle Korver and Kent Bazemore share a laugh on the bench in the final minutes of a victory over the Celtics in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series at Philips Arena on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com
With the game well in hand Hawks Kyle Korver and Kent Bazemore share a laugh on the bench in the final minutes of a victory over the Celtics in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series at Philips Arena on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Kyle Korver said he is ready to do whatever it takes for the Hawks to win.

If that means coming off the bench, so be it.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer replaced Korver in the starting lineup with Thabo Sefolosha before Monday’s game against the Thunder. It’s a move he sees at long term as the Hawks are mired in a slump of losses in seven straight and 10 of 11 games.

“Fine,” Korver said of the decision Tuesday. “We are in a tough stretch and we have to try anything to try to get this going again. I’ll do my best whatever the role is.”

Korver has started 305 of the 320 games with the Hawks over his five seasons here. For his career, he has started 415 of 984 games. He said there will be little differences coming off the bench.

“I think you have to be ready at full speed right when you go in,” Korver said. “You don’t get to warm up and then you go in and play. For me, it will be more playing more with a different lineup probably. All season long, with the second unit the ball has been flowing a little more. That’s obviously where I’m at my best. At the end of the day, we’ve got to start getting some wins and that’s all that matters.”

Korver played 32 minutes against the Thunder is Monday’s 102-99 loss. He finished with 15 points, including three 3-pointers, two rebounds and an assist. Sefolosha played 33 minutes.

Budenholzer said coaches have talked about the move for some time.

“I think it can be better for our team,” Budenholzer said. “That’s always how you have to make decisions. I think this case, it can be better for Kyle individually too. He gets to see the game a little bit, gets to see the rhythm and the flow of it. Come in and maybe shake free a little bit.”

Budenholzer reiterated Tuesday that the move is not short term. He said Sefolosha complements the starting unit on both ends of the court. He also added that he prefers Tim Hardaway Jr. coming off the bench.

Budenholzer agreed with the assessment that the starting unit of Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Paul Millsap, Dwight Howard and Sefolosha represents the team’s five best defensive players.

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