Atlanta Hawks backup big man Zaza Pachulia has been missing in action since March 3rd with an Achilles injury — and there is still no end in sight.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via ESPN’s Nick Borges), the Hawks “could make a decision regarding Pachulia’s status for the remainder of the regular-season sometime this week”, and with just 11 games remaining on the schedule (including Wednesday night, where his absence is expected), some clarity would be helpful to Larry Drew and the staff.
In the absence of Pachulia, Al Horford’s minutes have soared to a season-high 38.5 per game in March, and Larry Drew has been forced to use small lineups featuring Ivan Johnson at center more and more in an effort to keep Johan Petro’s minutes limited. Obviously, the loss of Pachulia is a major one, as there is a legitimate argument that he’s the team’s 5th-best player right now (in a battle with Devin Harris and Ivan Johnson), and the drop-off is severe behind him.
Stay tuned to SDS for the latest updates, but the news isn’t looking particularly great on Zaza’s status for the remainder of the regular season.