Injury concerns arise as Atlanta Hawks fall into daunting 3-1 hole

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The loss of Game 4 was rough enough for the Atlanta Hawks. How this game unfolded only adds to it. But the underlying question that emerged from the defeat is the health of several important Hawks including Trae Young. Questions that are even more important with the Hawks facing elimination in Game 5.

Young finished with just nine points on 27.3% shooting with five assists. It’s been his perimeter shooting (7-of-33 3P) and turnovers (6.0 per game) that have been the most problematic. The odd part of Sunday’s performance was Young took just one shot in the paint.

He dismissed the idea of a foot injury in favor of crediting Miami’s defensive effort after the game. To his point, he only attempted three shots in the paint when he struggled in Game 1.

But his usual sidekick Bogdan Bogdanovic’s health status is less clear.

The Atlanta Hawks might have injury concerns that will impact the offseason

Bogdanovic played just over 20 minutes seeing by far his smallest workload of the postseason after nearing 26 minutes in Game 1, surpassing 28 minutes in Game 2, and almost seeing 32 minutes in Game 3. The last time he played fewer minutes was when he left early versus the New York Knicks after just 10 minutes with a sprained ankle.

That knocked him out for eight games.

After Sunday’s loss, head coach Nate McMillan was less than forthcoming with an explanation for the sudden drop-off.

Bogdanovic finished with four points on just 1-of-6 shooting (0-for-3 3P) with four boards and one assist. All of his points came in the third quarter and he did not play in the fourth quarter which had been his time to shine.

It is unclear exactly when a possible injury to Bogdanovic occurred.

His first-half minutes are not a great indication since he saw just six minutes in the first half of Game 2 before seeing his most floor time in Game 3.

There was, however, this drive in the third quarter where Bogdanovic appears to drop his head despite the made basket. There appears to be a slight limp back down the court immediately after this. He came out for good at the end of the quarter following a blowby from Victor Oladipo and a couple of missed jumpers.

A similar line of questions could apply to Danilo Gallinari, though, it would be what took so long to get him in the game? He had nine points and seven rebounds while seeing just under 15 minutes, his fewest since a March 16 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.

Gallinari was a team-high plus-4.0 in Game 4.

Perhaps the blowout nature of the game as well as Clint Capela’s return rearranging the rotation had something to do with it. And, again, we do not know if Bogdanovic is truly dealing with anything at all let alone anything of significance.

McMillan did note “we’ll how our guys came out of this game and we’ll give you guys a report tomorrow” in his postgame media availability.

Bogdanovic had surgery for an avulsion fracture in his right knee in the offseason and missed five games with soreness in the same knee in January. He was listed as probable on the injury report ahead of Game 2 due to ankle soreness similar to how he was listed with an ankle sprain ahead of the Play-In Tournament game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The fifth-year guard has one more guaranteed season as well as a player option in 2024, both worth $18 million, per

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Historically, the Hawks have a 4.9% chance of coming back in this series.  Concerns over potential injuries won’t be alleviated until we get more clarity from McMillan, hopefully, on Monday.