The Atlanta Hawks will be severely short-handed for the preseason finale tonight in Dallas as three of the team’s tops players will not be there.
Al Horford, Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap did not travel with the Hawks to Dallas. Instead, the players will remain in Atlanta for rest and treatment. Injured players Gustavo Ayon (shoulder) and Lou Williams (ACL rehab) will also be out.
Korver did not travel to Dallas for “personal reasons.” Hopefully it’s nothing serious and he’ll be able to play in the regular-season opener in a week.
Millsap has a sore Achillies and was declared inactive for the final two preseason games by coach Mike Budenholzer Tuesday afternoon. Millsap re-aggravated the injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s matchup versus Memphis and did not return. He didn’t practice Monday and spent the latter portion icing his foot and receiving treatment.
“I think we are going to be conservative and cautious and give him the next couple days off,” coach Budenholzer told the AJC. “Just let him rehab and rest and make sure he’s feeling really good going into the season.”
With Millsap sidelined for the first time Tuesday, Horford slid down to power forward and veteran Elton Brand started at center.
With Horford, Korver and Millsap out, tonight’s lineup will be drastically different.
Jeff Teague and DeMarre Carroll should likely start at their normal PG and SF positions (hopefully), Brand is figured to get another start at C, which leaves just the SG and PF positions open. Those spots would seemingly go to second-year players John Jenkins and Mike Scott.
If coach Budenholzer elects to rest the usual starters and second-year players to go with five reserve players, the lineup could look like as follows: Dennis Schroder, Jared Cunningham, Cartier Martin, Pero Antic and Elton Brand. If this were to be the case, the only players left on the roster to use as subs would be Shelvin Mack and training camp invites Royal Ivey and Eric Dawson, all of which, along with Martin, have non-guaranteed contracts and are fighting for the final two regular-season roster spots.
Check back later for updates.