The Atlanta Hawks need to be wary of an injured Miami Heat team

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks have some injury concerns going into their first round playoff matchup against the Miami Heat. Clint Capela is probably out for the first few games thanks to the hyperextension of his knee suffered in the second play-in game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The impact that this could be somewhat alleviated by the possible return of John Collins who has been upgraded to questionable. While the Hawks are suffering a little in the big man department, the Heat have a number of injury concerns of their own.

In what can only be considered good news for the Heat, their star center Bam Adebayo is returning from Covid-19 protocols for the first game. Adebayo adds such versatility to the Heat defensively and takes the pressure off the rest of the team on offense.

The Atlanta Hawks need to be wary of a wounded Miami Heat

The Heat have five players who are on their injury list despite not playing since the regular season ended. While none of the players listed as stars, some of them are key rotation pieces who have the ability to make a huge difference for this team.

Of the five players, only Gabe Vincent is listed as probable. He has a right toe contusion and will most likely suit up for the Heat. Haywood Highsmith is the only name on the list where it does not really matter if he suits up. He has played 19 games and averaged 2.3 points and 1.4 rebounds per game this season.

However, the other players listed can have a tremendous impact on a game. Dewayne Dedmon and Markieff Morris are solid big men who help Adebayo by providing physicality and solid big man production when the star is resting on the bench.

However, the biggest potential out is P.J. Tucker who is questionable due to a calf strain. If he cannot play then the Heat are missing a gritty defender who can make life difficult for opposition wings and then hits the corner 3-ball like few others can at the other end.

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If these players are out then the stars of the team will go deeper into the well, stepping up to play big games. While this may tire them out it can also mean that they help the team quickly out of the blocks, forcing the Hawks to play catch up basketball which is not something you want to do in playoff basketball.