“Bud has this way about him,” Korver said as a Hawk about Budenholzer, who was a Spurs assistant from 1996 to 2013. “We really respect both how he teaches the game and the system but also who he is, his willingness to look you in the eye. Bud does a great job and they brought in pieces that fit. They didn’t just bring in random pieces for his system.”
That is key. Unlike past Knicks regimes, Budenholzer crafts systems around players, instead of trying to cram players into a system.
“He is regarded as a very good coach. He put in a totally new program in Atlanta very similar to San Antonio, but not exactly because he never had the playmakers off the dribble that San Antonio did. His is a lot more passing and moving and cutting,” a Western executive said. “He took guys and put them in position to have their best years.”
And that exec sees one primary beneficiary: Kristaps Porzingis when he is healthy following his ACL surgery.
“He would put Porzingis in the best role possible to have success. He would know how to use him. A lot of these guys figure, ‘We’ll just get Porzingis the ball and let him do what he wants,’ ” the exec said. “He would put a system in where maybe Porzingis is a screener and the defense has to help [so] then he can pop to get shots or be like a high-post guy, pass the ball and then get a screen. He used Horford that way.”