I was so excited when this NBA season first tipped off. Atlanta was scoring at will, setting records, and beat the championship-contending Brooklyn Nets. The Hawks came into this season a bit banged up, but the bottom has fallen out, and things have somehow gotten worse.
Reported chemistry issues aside, every free agent that Atlanta has signed besides Solomon Hill has missed time with injury. Even 6th overall pick Onyeka Okongwu hasn’t been spared, even though he was scheduled to debut before the cancellation vs. Phoenix. It’s honestly absurd.
Danilo Gallinari — out until at least January 20th, ankle
Bogdan Bogdanović — out until at least March 3rd, fractured knee
Kris Dunn — out until at least February 1st, ankle
Rajon Rondo — game-time decision/doubtful, knee
Clint Capela — game-time decision/questionable, hand
Tony Snell would’ve made this list, but the free-agent acquisition made his Hawks debut a couple of days ago against the 76ers. Granted, Lloyd Pierce is remaining cautious with Snell. Playing only seven minutes when the Hawks were up 28 with 6:59 remaining in the fourth quarter isn’t much. Big O will certainly make his NBA debut in Utah against the Jazz, but I expect a similar approach as Pierce has done with Snell. According to Brad Rowland, Onyeka Okongwu was taken off the injury report yesterday.
Onyeka Okongwu is off the injury report entirely, setting the stage for his NBA debut on Friday.
— Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) January 15, 2021
Rondo will be off and on the injury report all season; prepare yourselves. But as long as he’s healthy for the playoffs and doesn’t miss any major time, it won’t be too damning. Capela’s injury is recent and seems non-serious, so if any, he will miss minimal time. Danilo Gallinari, Kris Dunn, Bogdan Bogdanović return in that order. Gallo is a week away, Dunn is two weeks away, and Bogy is six weeks away. By the middle of February, the Hawks will hopefully be as close as possible to full strength — minus Bogy.
Nobody’s blaming this on the players; injuries happen. Expectations were sky-high for the Hawks, and I honestly can’t think of any other team that has been ravaged by injuries like this. This Atlanta team is losing time to work out the kinks in an already shortened season, but looking at the glass half full, it’s better to be short-handed now than later.
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