Sports

Hawks' trip to London gives first-year coach Budenholzer chance for midseason review of team

Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer shouts to players in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis, Tenn., Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. The Grizzlies defeated the Hawks 108-101. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer shouts to players in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis, Tenn., Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. The Grizzlies defeated the Hawks 108-101. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)  (The Associated Press)

The Atlanta Hawks' first regular-season game in London provides first-year coach Mike Budenholzer the opportunity for a midseason review of his team.

Budenholzer, the former longtime Spurs top assistant, says the Hawks have impressed him as "very, very smart" players.

The Hawks (20-18) are third in the Eastern Conference despite losing Josh Smith to free agency and Al Horford to a season-ending injury in December. Horford was the team's leading scorer and rebounder.

The Hawks on Monday night are flying to London, where they will play the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.

Mike Scott is emerging as a consistent scorer off the bench and complement to starter Paul Millsap at the power forward position formerly held by Smith. Point guard Jeff Teague also has seen his scoring rise under Budenholzer.