The Knicks snapped Atlanta’s seven-game win streak Saturday night to the tune of a 99-90 final score, but the more troubling news came as Atlanta lost two of its prominent players in Cam Reddish and Bogdan Bogdanovic. The former left the game with a wrist injury and underwent an MRI that revealed a left wrist sprain. Just moments later, the latter exited the game after suffering an apparent lower-body injury, which was later confirmed as a sprained ankle.
Reddish’s status will be updated based on how he responds to treatment, while Bogi will be re-evaluated in two weeks. They join De’Andre Hunter, who is expected to miss another two months after undergoing wrist surgery, as the Hawks experience a bit of Deja Vu. Last year, nearly every core player missed some time.
With all these injuries, the Hawks’ deep roster is beginning to thin. So should they consider giving rookie Jalen Johnson more minutes? In four games with G-League affiliate Skyhawks, the former Duke Blue Devil has averaged 14.8 points on 45.8% shooting from the field and 36.4% from three, 14 rebounds, and two assists.
At 6’9″ and 220 pounds, Johnson brings size and athleticism to what was once a loaded wing group in Atlanta. He’s a combo forward who can play the 3 or 4, able to run the floor and make plays with the ball in his hand while shooting well enough from three-point range.
Nate McMillan said Jalen Johnson is with the Skyhawks in G League so he can play/develop, "because he can't get minutes up here with us, so that's what it's for and that's what we want him to do."
Said Hawks would have to have more guys out for Johnson to get minutes w/ Hawks.
— Sarah K. Spencer (@sarah_k_spence) November 29, 2021
I asked Nate McMillan about Jalen Johnson’s development and how close he is to getting minutes with the Hawks. He said “pretty much” the only way he’s going to get minutes is if more injuries happen. The Skyhawks have used him as a big man.
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) November 29, 2021
For now, it looks like the Hawks view Johnson strictly as a front court player. However, perhaps they will give him more looks on the wing in the G-League as the season progresses.