Injuries and poor play propel the Hawks during this seven game skid.
The Atlanta Hawks announced over the weekend that Kent Bazemore will miss the next two games with a sore right knee. An MRI revealed no structural damage but it’s a tough blow nonetheless in the midst of a seven game losing streak. Even though it’s still early in the season, the Hawks continue to desperately search for answers here in early December.
Other critical factors are playing a role in this skid as well, including the performance of Kyle Korver. The 35 year old is averaging about nine points a game with minimal defensive impact. Coach Budenholzer replaced Kyle with Thabo Sefolosha on Monday and this change could very well be permanent. Coach told the media, “Obviously, we are hopeful it will be good for both players and us in the end.” In short, the team is looking for Kyle to be a spark plug off the bench moving forward.
The return of key rotation players could significantly help the Hawks.
The prolonged absences of Mike Scott and Tiago Splitter have also put a damper on the start of the season. Scott is just returning from his knee injury and was sent to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League for a rehab assignment. Mike had arguably his most productive season last year, shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc and posting the best defensive rating among Eastern Conference players with a 95.2. His presence is very much missed in the Hawks rotation as his ceiling this year is as high as it has ever been. Tiago on the other hand, has been very disappointing as he has not played a single minute this season recovering from surgery then the setback with his hamstring. His ability in the middle will be valuable when he does end up making his season debut.
In the end, there are certainly questions to be answered in Atlanta. Hopefully the Hawks can get fully healthy and return Kyle and Kent to peak form. If so, I believe the Hawks can continue to compete in the playoffs this year and beyond.