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Hawks have embraced Budenholzer’s ball-sharing system

ATLANTA (AP) — The Eastern Conference standings are not the only proof the Atlanta Hawks are mastering Mike Budenholzer’s ball-sharing, pass-happy scheme.

The second-year coach says “one of the best signs” is seeing his players get on each other when someone strays from his lessons of court spacing, pick-and-rolls and pass after pass.

Long known for isolation basketball, the Hawks had to change their ways when Budenholzer was hired from the San Antonio Spurs. Now there is balance, with all five starters scoring in double figures.

And there is success.

The Hawks hold a big lead in the Eastern Conference, seven games ahead of Toronto before Tuesday’s games. Only West-leading Golden State has a better record.

Budenholzer smiled Tuesday when talking about players now “coaching themselves” in his system.