Atlanta Hawks: Bogdan Bogdanovic has shown true courage and heart

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks have had a rough time with injuries all year. While they started getting healthy throughout these playoffs, they have still had some horrible luck. They lost De’Andre Hunter at the end of the New York Knicks series after reinjuring his knee.

In this series, they got Cam Reddish back for the first time in four months but that was offset by losing their superstar Trae Young for the last two games. However, during the Philadelphia 76ers Bogdan Bogdanovic missed the second half of Game 5 with knee soreness.

Bogdanovic would still play the rest of the series and then not miss a game in the Eastern Conference Finals series against the Milwaukee Bucks. He had six difficult games where he shot the ball incredibly poorly and had people saying that he should be replaced in the starting lineup or that he should rest a couple of games.

The Atlanta Hawks could not afford to rest Bogdan Bogdanovic

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When Bogdanovic first suffered his knee soreness, the Hawks had no viable options to replace him in the starting lineup. Reddish had not been cleared to play and Tony Snell is a shadow of the player that he was in February. Solomon Hill was not an option due to his complete lack of offense.

So, Bogdanovic put his hand up to continue starting, despite being limited. He had no lift on his shot meaning that he was shooting poorly from behind the line. He also could not push off with any speed to get into transition.

Instead of being the floor spacer who was also a secondary ball-handler, he worked so hard on defense. This helped the Hawks win the series and it is a big reason the Hawks are still in this current series.

To show how hard he has worked, Bogdanovic leads all players in these playoffs with 26 steals. A player not noted for his defense leading the best players in the game in steals. That says a lot about the man and his work ethic.

Now that his knee is improving, he is starting to put up good numbers for the Hawks on offense again. His 3-point shot is back and he is moving in a manner that we are more accustomed to seeing.

If the Hawks manage to go to the NBA Finals, Trae Young is going to get a lot of the credit. However, without the courage of Bogdanovic in the 76ers series, the Hawks season would probably already be over.

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No matter what happens for the rest of this post-season, we need to laud the courage of Bogdanovic to play through the pain and the potential of damaging his knee even further. He gave his team everything that he could and that is more than you can ask of anyone.