We’re taking a look back at the season that was for each member of the Atlanta Hawks, as well as a sneak peek into what the future might hold. Today it’s Anthony Tolliver.
The season: Anthony Tolliver came over from Minnesota last offseason and became a vital role player for the Hawks this year. He played in all but 20 of the team’s games and started 11 of them. He was also one of just three reserves Larry Drew used in an attempt to shorten the bench in the playoffs.
Each time Tolliver’s number was called this season, he delivered. His length allowed him to guard the 2, 3 and 4 positions, and his range stretched defenses. He also shot a career best 86 percent from the free throw line and hit 34 percent of his three-point attempts. In the playoffs, Tolliver went 7-11 from downtown.
Tolliver is a guy who never takes a play off, never complains to his teammates coaches or the officials and is willing to play any role that is asked of him.
The future: Tolliver said in his exit interview the day after the Hawks were eliminated that he enjoyed his time in Atlanta and that he appreciated Drew showing confidence in him during the playoffs. He also said that he still feels like no one has seen everything he can do. Other than 2009-2010, when he started 29 games for the Golden State Warriors and scored 12.3 points per game, he hasn’t had the minutes that he (or any NBA player) had hoped for.
Tolliver has bounced around a bit in his career but has always left a good impression wherever he has been. As an unrestricted free agent this summer, I would imagine he would at least explore the idea of free agency with the hope of picking up a more expanded role somewhere. If Danny Ferry does re-sign him, he’ll likely play a similar role as this year, coming off the bench for defense, energy and shooting. Whether Ferry will do that depends a lot on the draft and free agency, as well as what Tolliver wants his role to be. The one thing I do know though, is that having a guy like him on your team is never a bad thing. He’s a positive player who works hard and has a variety of skills, and you can never have enough good attitudes in the locker room.
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