With Dewayne Dedmon now set to miss at least the next few games due to a nonsurgical procedure on his elbow, to say the Hawks are short-handed heading into their upcoming back-to-back against the Nets and the Blazers would be an understatement.
Clint Capela (heel) and Skal Labissiere (knee) are still yet to debut for the Hawks due to injury, and De’Andre Bembry (abdomen) remains sidelined as well.
Trae Young has been dealing with sickness but toughed things out last night in a 37 point effort. However, he remained at home for Thursday’s practice, as did Damian Jones. According to Coach Pierce, Kevin Huerter has been nursing a mild groin injury as well. This called for a much needed “maintenance day” at practice on Thursday.
Coach Pierce reiterated that he was also trying to keep the other guys healthy and manage their workload as they will play their second and third games in four days, and are down to 10-11 bodies. He mentioned De’Andre Hunter as an example, who had to play 35 minutes on Thursday evening and went 0-8 from the field. The silver lining is that all three games will be played at State Farm Arena.
The Hawks have been able to win six out of their last eight contests in their home building, but this will be a challenge for a young team, even against a Kyrie-less Nets squad and an underachieving Blazers team. Part of the development of this young core is teaching them how to survive the 82-game grind, and we are seeing that firsthand as the season winds down.