The Atlanta Hawks could not have had a better off-season. They had a series of goals that they set for themselves and with the moves that they made, they appear to have achieved them. The other aspect of this is that the Hawks are almost fully healthy going into training camp which has huge benefits for the franchise.
However, the same can not be said for a number of their Eastern Conference rivals. The Boston Celtics are going to be without Danilo Gallinari thanks to a knee injury and Robert Williams thanks to surgery on his meniscus. They are also going to miss the services of their head coach Ime Udoka who has been suspended by the franchise for inappropriate conduct.
Still, they will be a competitive team all season as they still have their core group minus Williams for the time he is out. However, the Chicago Bulls, one of the better teams from last season as well is going to struggle without their starting point guard, Lonzo Ball.
How do the Atlanta Hawks benefit from Lonzo Ball being out?
Firstly, let’s take a look at why Ball is out. He has had multiple knee surgeries and has not played basketball since January 14th. There have been rumors going around all off-season that he was still not right. This was confirmed earlier this month when it was announced that Ball would have another operation on his knee.
However, reports have come out that Ball cannot run or jump and is struggling to even go up many stairs. He is to have another operation on the same knee that was operated on back in 2018. This is a concern for the team as the injury is recurring and it may be degenerative.
The impact for the Hawks is positive as Ball is a really good defensive player and he has the ability to create for the team. He forms a really good defensive partnership with Zach LaVine and this makes the Bulls relatively hard to score against. Without Ball, the Bulls are not a serious playoff team.
If Ball is out for longer than the 4-6 weeks that is predicted, and it could be the whole season, then the Hawks will have a leg up on another Eastern Conference rival. If they can get far enough ahead that when they hit January they might not drop too far down the standings.